And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” ~ Mark 8:27
Who do people say that Jesus is? The answer is just as divided today as it was two thousand years ago. Some might say he was a great moral teacher. Others might respond that he was a lunatic or charlatan. Others still might say he was merely a religious leader.
And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” ~ Mark 8:28-29
This is the crux of the message. The world will always hold mixed views. Even those in the church may be confused. But each of us will have to answer the question:
Who do I say that Jesus is?
If he is a great moral teacher, we might dally in his “interesting” philosophies.
If he is a lunatic or charlatan, we can dismiss his claims as so much chaff.
If he is only a religious leader, we might study history and learn from what he did well and what he didn’t do well.
But if we are like Peter and recognize him truly, we must confess, “You are the Christ.”
This question is the clarion call of life. If Jesus is truly the anointed one, the only son of God, then his calling is urgent and cannot be ignored.
This is no social club that meets Sunday mornings. Nor is it a call for adjustment of morals.
Christ demands all my heart, soul, strength and mind.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. ~ Matthew 22:37-38
He demands my very life, offered on the altar.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship ~ Romans 12:1
The question is not whether to be a “committed” Christian or a “laid back” Christian. We are either Christians or not, in a trajectory towards heaven or back to worldly things.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? ~ Matthew 16:24-26
What will your answer be?
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash