May 24, 2017
WHO do you say I AM?
Long before the Caesars renamed Paneas to Caesarea Philippi in honor of themselves, the local residents worshipped Baal, Pan, and nature gods.
As Jesus walked through that place of pagan spirits, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say I am?”
According to Mark 8, they told Him, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say you’re Elijah or one of the other prophets.”
Then Jesus said, “But Who do you say I AM?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah!”
How true, true! However, Jesus knew everyone expected that long-awaited liberator to free them from the Romans and other rulers, not offer freedom from sin! And so, He strictly charged His followers to tell no one.
Later, the Transfiguration took place on a mountain in that same pagan territory. This spectacular meeting with Moses and Elijah showed – literally, figuratively, and spiritually – the coming together of the Law and the Prophets in Jesus – The Word in Whom all things will eventually come together and be restored.
Meanwhile, Jesus had work to do. Three times He told His disciples what was about to happen to Him and how they too, as His followers, would suffer. Some of us, though, are slow to learn. For example, James and John responded to Jesus’ explanation of what to expect by asking for top positions on either side of Him!
Who does scripture say Jesus is?
Genealogies in the Gospels say Jesus is a Son of Abraham, David, and Solomon, but also a descendant of Tamar, who pretended to be a prostitute in order to seduce Judah, and of Rahab, who actually was a prostitute, and of Ruth a Moabite, and of Bathsheba an adulteress, and, of course, Mary an unwed mother.
The Angel Gabriel said Jesus would be the Child of Mary and the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:23 said Jesus is Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”
At Jesus’ Baptism, God said, “This is My Beloved Son.”
The Gospel writer John said Jesus is The Word that spoke creation into being.
Scriptures also show Jesus as a teacher, a miracle worker, a wine-maker, a stretcher of food, a healer, a calmer of storms, a raiser of the dead, an exorcist, a servant to all, and The One Who suffered, died, and rose from the dead.
But Who does Jesus say He is?
The One Who came to undo All of the works of Satan, beginning with the Fall in the Garden of Eden
The Way to forgiveness and fellowship with God
The Truth about God’s love
The Life eternal
Do any of these words from God’s Word about Jesus Christ The Word speak to your current situation or worries? Do any of them offer hope for you, your loved ones, the church, the world?
Who do you say Jesus IS?
Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017