In Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus stops and confronts the disciples with these words, “Who do men say that I am?” It was a leading question. But a deeper more penetrating one was to follow. Lloyd Ogilvie writes, “This was not the question of an insecure leader, seeking to know how he stood in the public polls. It was a probing inquiry designed to determine the extent to which men were discovering the true nature of his mission and message.” Jesus wanted them to know the depth of their understanding of him.
The answer was extremely complimentary. They told him that some were calling him John the Baptist, raised from the dead, some Elijah who was preparing the way for the Messiah and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. The Jesus asked them a second question, “But what about you, who do you say that I am?” Peter who was rapidly emerging as a leader of the group and spokesman for the disciples responded, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” No wonder this has been called “The Great Confession.” Then Jesus told them that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things, be crucified, and be raised on the third day.
We too live in a world surrounded by the ways people have tried to answer life’s most important question. If you were to ask people today, “Who is this Jesus?” you would receive a variety of responses. We still hear the question more than two thousand years later, “But who do you say that I am?” The answer to life’s ultimate question is tremendously important. In the Apostles’ Creed we affirm, “In Jesus Christ his only son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” Jesus claimed to be something, someone unprecedented, unparalleled, unrivaled and unique in human history. Jesus in John 10:30 said, “I and the Father are one.” If Jesus was not God then he deserves an Oscar. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. Jesus is God’s historical revelation of himself. Jesus Christ was God incarnate. “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
Life’s ultimate question awaits life’s ultimate answer. Who is Jesus? Either we decide that he is a liar, lunatic, legend, or declaring to be the truth to be our Lord. If we sincerely believe that Jesus Christ is God, our entire lives and eternal destiny depend upon our belief in that fact. The choice is yours. Everything now and forever depends upon your answer.
See you Sunday in church!