Who Do You Say I Am?

                  Besides the many I Am statements of Jesus, other people said significant things about him. Perhaps the most significant was Simon Peter’s testimony:
            Some time after they saw the momentous miracles when Jesus fed five thousand men plus women and children with only five barley loaves and two fish, the time when he walked on water, the many times he healed people and cast out demons, and another time when he fed four thousand families with seven loaves and a few small fish, Jesus asked his disciples:

Who do the people say I am?

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah;
and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

But what about you, he asked, “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered,

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied,

“Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man,  but by my Father who is in heaven,” (Matthew 16:17 NIV).

        When Peter called Jesus “The Christ,” he was claiming Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah.
The word, Christ, is from the Greek word, “Christos” which means “Messiah.” In Hebrew, “Messiah” means “the anointed one.” God had promised from the time of Adam’s and Eve’s sin that he would send someone to defeat Satan. Among other names, this person would be called “Mighty God.” (cf. Isaiah 9:6.)
           In other words, Jesus was actually God himself who became incarnate (flesh) in order to defeat Satan and to provide salvation for the world. In the mysterious relationship of the Trinity, he was both God, and the Son of God.
             Earlier, Andrew had heard John the Baptist call Jesus the “Lamb Of God” and the “Son of God.” So Andrew found his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah,” (that is, the Christ.).” (John 1:41 NIV).

             Jesus also called Philip to follow him, who then told Nathanael, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael scoffed at first, but when he met Jesus, he called Jesus “Rabbi,” “Son of God,” “King of Israel.”

         When the apostle John wrote his gospel many years later, he called Jesus “The Word, who was with God and was God,” (John 1:1).

             The apostle Matthew, who was a tax collector, didn’t say a word when Jesus called him to follow him. He simply obeyed, immediately.

             Then there was Thomas. Thomas didn’t believe the disciples when they told him Jesus had risen from the dead. But when Jesus appeared to him and invited him to touch his wounds, he immediately worshipped him saying, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 NIV).

             In the context of each of these, it is evident that Jesus does not disagree with what his disciples called him. So in essence he is saying “Yes, I Am Lord and God, worthy of being followed, Son of God, King of Israel, the promised Messiah, Christ the anointed one, Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. And I love you!”

Who do you say Jesus is?


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