As I brought my week to an end, I made a trip to Lakewood to take care of some business. In the process I had the opportunity to take Christian and Bridget and the grandkids to lunch. The trip to Lakewood went well with me arriving in a “normal” time. Coming home was different and with traffic and accidents, it ended up being more a two hour drive.
Keep Bridget and her family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of her grandfather, Donald Land. I had the opportunity to meet Don just a few times, but remember him following my illness and recovery and being a great source of encouragement. His memorial service will be next week in Chicago.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15
Jesus was not only a great teacher, teller of parables and miracle worker; He was also good at asking questions. The art of asking questions is one that is not mastered by many. Jesus asked questions of the Scribes and Pharisees when they tried to trick Him. He asked rhetorical questions and questions that perplex and made people think.
On this occasion Jesus, after His popularity had risen, turns to His disciples and asks them two questions. The first one was, “who do people say that I am?” They responded without the benefit of a Gallup Poll, but just in their own interaction among the crowds. They respond with “some say” John the Baptist. That would be Herod who struggled with so much guilt over the beheading of John, that he believed Jesus was John risen from the dead. (It is interesting that Herod thought Jesus was John risen from the dead, but he would struggle accepting that Jesus, Himself had risen from the dead.)
People readily recognized Jesus as a teacher and prophet. So many believed He was Elijah or Jeremiah or “one of the prophets.” The bottom line was, the public was divided about Jesus.
Then Jesus moves to the personal level. “What about you? Who do you say that I am?” People are often quick to share the opinion of others, but get uncomfortable when the question becomes personal and requires a definitive response, and they are forced to take a position. I can relate to that from the political world. People would look at issues and want to know “as a candidate what do you believe? What is your position is on this issue.”
Peter speaks up for the disciples and declares, “you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus response is interesting to me when He says, “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven.” The authority of Jesus. His words, His miracles would seem to lead to the conclusion that He was indeed the Christ. However, Jesus said that to truly understand and believe who He was required divine insight.
Perhaps that still holds true today. With even more “proof” of Jesus being the Messiah, the Christ; there are those who still facilitate on who Jesus is. For many today the opinions about Jesus are the same as when Jesus asked that question to the disciples. But it requires a definitive response; one that requires more than an answer. For one must then ask themselves, “what does that mean for me?”
That question of Jesus to His disciples is one that every person must come to grip with today. It is what requires a position, with no “waffling.” The answer to that question demands a response. And for that reason many will deny what they know to be true. But when an individual “confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart” (Romans 10:9) that Jesus is the Christ, it opens up a new relationship and a new revelation. And to get that question “wrong” can have more consequences than just missing a “few points on a quiz.” And that is something to take to heart and consider and make a decision based on your answer.