January 15, 2008
Who Is Jesus to You?
By Amy Carroll
“’But what about you?’ he said. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’”
Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV)
Isn’t it amazing how a question asked at the appropriate time can pierce your heart? Not too long ago, I was in the midst of a judgmental rant when my husband asked just such a question. It absolutely stopped me in my tracks. My heart ached and tears began to run down my face. From one piercing question, I faced my own self-righteousness, and it changed both my mind and heart.
Yesterday’s devotion showed how Jesus was the master of using a timely question. He asked his disciples about the culture’s perception of who He was to get them to examine those assumptions.
His next question may be one of the most important questions that any woman faces: “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” This question resounds through the generations until it lands squarely at our own feet. Each person is required to come to a conclusion about this question. No conclusion IS a conclusion by the way.
Jesus had quite a bit to say about who He was. He called Himself the Son of Man (Matt. 16:13), Messiah (John 4:25-26), the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the Light of the World (John 8:12), I Am (John 8:58), the Good Shepherd (John 10:14), and Son of God (John 10:36-38). This is only a partial list, but Jesus was unequivocal about His identity.
Josh McDowell, a well-known Christian apologist, has said that either Jesus told the truth and is truly Lord as He claimed, or else He was a lunatic or a liar. That’s strong stuff, but upon inspection, he’s right. C.S. Lewis, who was once an agnostic, said it this way, "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?” pierced my heart when I was ten years old, and I’ve been passionately in love with Him as Messiah, Savior and Lord ever since. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve struggled with the hard questions presented by life, death and suffering. I’ve fallen to sin and failed those around me more often than I even want to remember. I’ve had doubts and struggled with fear. But the over-riding strength and faith that I’ve received from answering that one question continues to be a blessing to me.
I challenge you to take this week to examine Jesus’ question for yourself. Ask God to show you who Jesus really is. If you’re a Christ-follower already, ask God to remove any human preconceptions and inaccuracies. If you’re not a Christ-follower, start reading the Gospel of John and ask God to reveal the truth of who He is to you. I believe He’s big enough to answer His own question - “Who do you say I am?” – in your heart.
Dear Jesus, I want to know the truth of who You are. Help me to search it out in the Bible. Open my eyes and my heart to what is true about You and help me to then dedicate my life to knowing the truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Choose a Bible translation that you can understand easily and read the Gospel of John.
Ask God out loud (even if you’re not sure that you believe) to show you the truth about Jesus.
Have I settled the question of who Jesus is to me?
If I haven’t, what is holding me back?
If I have, does my life really reflect that belief?
Matthew 3:17, “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” (NIV)
Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (NIV)
Luke 22:70, “They all asked, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’ He replied, ‘You are right in saying I am.’”
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Tuesday, 15 January 2008.