How do you determine what you believe about someone? How do you describe someone you know well? When someone asks you who someone you know is, how do you answer them? Who do you say Jesus is?
We know many, many people. We know some better than we know others. We have gotten to know them over time through discussions and joint experiences. When we are asked who they are, we have an answer to give.
In today’s passage, Jesus asks who people say He is. When He does so, He is talking about the general population. After hearing the answers His disciples give, He asks who they say He is. Peter gives the right answer.
We might think it would be easy to give the answer Peter gave if we had been with Him, saw the miracles performed, and heard the lessons He taught. We might be right thinking this. But we are two-thousand-years removed. How do we answer the question?
We might believe it is harder to answer, since we haven’t seen Jesus face-to-face. Yet, we are given the Scriptures, which have recorded His teaching and miracles. For some of us, His miracles may seem more far-fetched than science fiction. For others, they are accepted as fact and readily believed.
If we are willing to conduct a little research, we have access to reams of data based on archeological digs, ancient copies of Scripture texts, and historical records from non-Biblical sources. We have the ability to research and discover the truth—Scripture is true.
This brings us back to how we answer the question Jesus posed to His disciples. We have no good reason to not know who He is. There is no good reason for not answering the same way Peter did. If we are ready and willing to give the same answer, what do we do after that?
If we believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, we must decide if we will be a disciple of His or not. If we decide to be a disciple, Jesus has expectations. There is a cost to being a disciple. Jesus requires us to follow His commands. He requires us to give up our personal preferences. He desires us to show love for Him by loving our fellow Christians and all humans.
I pray we all answer the question as Peter did. I pray we believe Jesus is the Messiah. I pray each one of us will decide to be a disciple of Jesus. Choose to be a disciple. Answer the question correctly. Believe He is who He says He is. Give up personal preferences. Obey His commands.
Luke 9:18-20 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”