Who do you say Jesus is? Do you consider yourself a follower of His? Do you realize Jesus is the Son of God? Have you recognized Him as God? Is your confession mere lip service, or do you truly put forth the effort to follow His lead?
As much as we might like to think we are our own person, we all follow someone. True, we have our own personality. To some degree it is based on our genetics. However, in large part it is developed by observing others. For most of us, our family has the biggest impact.
However, our culture, social media, and mainstream media has a significant impact as well. Depending on the choices we make, what we watch can have a positive or negative effect. What we read also plays a significant role in our mental development.
In today’s passage, Jesus asks His disciples who people believe He is. There were a variety of answers. None of them included being the Son of God. I wonder what answers we would get if we were to conduct a survey of people today—both professing Christians and people who are not. Would those answers vary drastically, or would they be very similar?
If we are to be disciples, we must know who Jesus is. It cannot be a mere statement that He is the Son of God. We must know it deep inside ourselves—like we know the alphabet. We should be in awe of all He has done and all He can do. We must look up to Him like a 5-year-old looks up to a big brother or sister.
Not only should we be in awe of Him, but we must also follow His teachings. A disciple, in general terms, is a follower. More specifically, the Jewish term was used to describe a young boy who followed a Rabbi. As an indication of how closely the boy would follow the Rabbi’s teaching, he would literally walk in the footprints of the Rabbi so that the dust off the Rabbi’s sandals would settle on the boy’s clothes. The closer the boy followed in the Rabbi’s footsteps, the more dust he had on him, and the more it indicated how closely he followed the Rabbi’s teaching.
If we were to be asked who Jesus is today, how would we answer? Would He consider us a disciple of His? It is our choice to follow Him or not. Since He is not physically with us today, we must study His Word, follow His teachings, and spend time with other followers. We need the encouragement from them.
I pray we all realize who Jesus is. I pray we understand it deep in our hearts. I pray each one of us make the commitment to follow Him closely. Know who Jesus is. Be in awe of Him. Look up to Him. Follow Him closely. Trust Him.
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”