Who Do You Say I Am?
By Ron Mahler
Who do you say I am? Jesus asked His disciples that question many years ago and Ron Mahler believes that He is still asking it today. What do you think?
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“Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:13-20
We could take a lot of insights away from the scripture passage noted above. What stands out to me, however, is the obvious fact that Jesus is concerned with how His disciple expresses their knowledge of Him in culture. It’s also obvious that there were a plethora of opinions about who Jesus was in His day; as has been the case throughout history.
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The 18th century Scottish preacher, John Duncan, stated that Christ was “either deceived by humankind, by conscious fraud…was deluded and self-deceived, or He was, in fact, divine. There is no getting out of this trilemma.” A little later, the once atheist writer turned Christian apologist, C. S. Lewis, echoed Duncan’s sentiments and put forth his findings that Jesus was “either a lunatic, a liar, or He is indeed Lord.”
Persons from every culture, country and continent; from every tribe, tongue and territory have asked the question, “Who is Jesus?” It’s the burning question that has caused contention within the ranks of philosophy, amongst professors (academia) and politicians.
We’re still confronted by this all-important question in the 21st century!
The Popularity of Jesus
Jesus is as popular today as He ever has been. His Name is cited in songs and is the topic of theatre plays and musicals. The Name of Jesus is in our books and on our T shirts. His Name exists on gravestones and His cross hangs from necks and walls and is found on buildings and in paintings. The Name of Jesus brings joy and delight to some and brings out the worst in others.
Yet there remains an element of people within society who genuinely inquire, “Who is Jesus? Who is He, really?”
That is where Christ, in turn, still asks His disciple, “Who do you say I am?” (emphasis mine). In other words, “What are you going to tell people about me? How will you identify me?” In a world of potpourri spirituality, discarded religiosity and compromised orthodoxy; in a world of ever-shifting values and absolutes where good is deemed bad and bad good, and where light is now darkness and darkness light, Jesus asks, “How will you define me?”
The apostle Peter wrote, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”1 According to Matthew 16, Peter was indeed ready to answer the Lord’s question: “Who do you say I am?” The apostle responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”2
For those of us whose temporal and eternal hope is in Christ, His enduring question, “Who do you say I am?” should be a very easy one to answer.
Can you disciple this?
1: 1 Peter 3:15; 2: Matthew 16:16
Ron Mahler has pastored in various churches and ministries throughout Ontario for over twenty years. In addition to his current roles as a chaplain and speaker/preacher at-large, Ron is an award-winning author; his fourth book—The Banquet, will be published in 2018. As a man of many talents and interests, he’s worked as a graphic artist and is also a multi-instrumentalist. Like many, Ron juggles the demands of family, work and ministry, with trying to get in a little “play” and “me” time. You can read his blogs, check out reviews of his books and find out news and information about events he’s hosting by going to: myfanaticalbook.wordpress.com
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