Who do they say I am?
Whether or not we realize or accept it, every one of us must answer this question from Jesus, “Who do you say I am?”
Last week, I talked about syncretism in evangelism, the melding of differing beliefs into one complex, distorted belief, and I was specifically talking about a scenario when we are evangelizing Muslims. Today, I would like to focus in on something that I mentioned in the last episode and that is the question, “Who is Jesus?”
Who is Jesus?
Yesterday, I was preaching at a small church in our area, and I focused on the question that Jesus asked His disciples in Mark 8:27, “Who do people say I am?” Well, for the previous two millennia, this has been answered in many ways.
Answers from other faiths
For example, I spoke last time about how the Muslims claim that Jesus was a prophet of Allah, but not the Son of God. The Baha’i faith claims that Jesus came from God, but it asserts that many other religious prophets are also from God, including Muhammad. The Hindu and Buddhist faiths claim that Jesus was a holy man, a moral teacher and perhaps even a prophet but was certainly not God incarnate. Furthermore, the New Age movement simply declares Jesus as a moral teacher worth listening to, when it’s convenient for you!
Why does this matter?
Why does it matter what other people say about Jesus? First of all, it matters because when we, as Christians, come into contact with people of other religious backgrounds, it is important for us to understand what they believe. Secondly, however, it forces us to answer the question ourselves. All these people throughout the years have made different claims about Jesus and who he was, but who do we say He is?
What did the Disciples say?
What was the response of the disciples when Jesus asked them who other people say he is? In Mark 8 we read, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others, one of the prophets.” Sound familiar? What did the people believe? They believed he was a prophet or a great moral teacher, but then Jesus said, “What about you? Who do you say I am?” Peter responded and said, “You are the Messiah.” Whether or not we realize or accept it, every one of us must answer this question from Jesus, “Who do you say I am?”
We will all have to answer this question
I don’t presume to know your life or your situation, but I do know that you will one day, sooner or later, have to answer this question: Who is Jesus? If you say, like many, that He is just a good moral teacher, or just another prophet, then you reject who He truly is: The Messiah.
Jesus himself said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” If you reject Jesus as the Messiah, then today you are rejecting the saving grace of eternal life.
Who is Jesus? He is the Messiah and only through Him can we find salvation. If you have not put your faith in Jesus, then hear the words of Romans 10:9-10, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
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