Weekly word – 2/29/24

Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

Throughout the history of mankind, people have and will continue to inquire about who God is and how big God is. We saw this in the Old Testament when God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let God's people go and lead the Israelites out of the land of Egypt. Moses’ reply was, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Moses didn’t have a clear understanding of the power and authority of God that would be transcended through him. He was right in thinking that he was just a mere mortal man compared to Pharaoh, but he failed to recognize who God was and by what authority he was being sent. 

He was instructed to speak to the Israelites first. Moses asked God how he should answer the Israelites when they ask him who sent him. God told him, “I AM WHO I AM. Tell the Israelites I AM has sent me to you.” “Say this to the Israelites: The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I have paid close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised you that I will bring you up from the misery in Egypt to the land flowing with milk and honey.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus explained to His disciples who He was, using 7 "I AM" metaphors. This is what Jesus told them.

(6:35) I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty.

(8:12) I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.

(10:7, 9) I am the door of the sheep. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

(10:11, 14) I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.

(11:25) I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

(14:6) I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

(15:1,5) I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

These are good reminders of Jesus' saving relationship with us as believers. It should encourage us to live out our lives without fear or doubt and to live our lives with God's will and purpose as our goal.

In Mark 8:27, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus wasn’t looking for a response that would make him feel good about Himself. He wasn't interested in knowing or cared about what people thought of Him. The only thing that mattered was what His Father thought of Him. In fact, Jesus probably knew exactly who people thought He was. I believe this was a leading question to eventually ask His disciples the question that He did. He wanted to see if His disciples understood who He was and why He came. The disciples responded with what others were thinking; some thought that He was John the Baptist, brought back to life, while others thought that He was Elijah or one of the prophets. 

Then Jesus pointedly asked them, “But you, who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, "You are the Christ."

We must ask ourselves the same question. Who do we say Jesus is? We may be quick to answer according to the seven I AMs that Jesus proclaimed. Now, set that aside and answer, not with words, but with our thoughts and our actions. As we encounter and deal with our trials, our struggles, and even the sin in our lives, do we acknowledge that He is our Redeemer, our Great Physician, our provider, the Sovereign and Providential God that He is? What are we telling the world and those around us by our actions, our conduct, and the way we respond to circumstances that we encounter? Do they see a person that is convicted and committed to the lyrics that we sing in the song, "It is Well with My Soul" or the verse that directs us to "Be Still and Know that I am God"?

If not, don't beat yourself up. You are not alone! I have been convicted of this and I write this as a reminder for myself as well. If we believe what Jesus said and what we read throughout Scripture, we find that God has proven over and over again that we just need to be drawn to Him and let Him guide us through our lives. He will take us through deep valleys and over high mountaintops, but He promises to get us through it all and promises that the reward at the end will be well worth the journey!

Love in Christ,

Pastor Bryan