Who Do You Say That I Am? That’s the Question

Don’t you just love Valentine’s Day? Love the hearts, love the flowers, love the candy, love the cards, love the gah-gah of it all. Valentine’s Day is such a fun day. It brings out the best in me. It brings back memories of when I was a kid and we would make Valentine card boxes out of shoe boxes. We’d cover the shoe box with aluminum foil and glue hearts and Valentine cards on it. So fun. Kids still do that now, but the boxes are much more elaborate.

Did you know that the never-ending Valentine card happens to be the Bible? Oh yes. I feel that every time I read my Bible.

But, then, does Valentine’s Day seem awkward? Why awkward? That boy. You know the one if you’re a young girl. That boy you secretly like but he doesn’t know you exist. Yeah, that one. Of course, it’s the same for guys. It’s all about that one girl. Well, I had one of those boys in my life when I was in junior high. He was beautiful. Blonde hair, blue eyes, perfect in every way. And, when Valentine’s day rolled around I kinda crept over to his Valentine’s box when no one was looking and slipped a Valentine card I’d made for him into it. It spoke of love and all the Valentine things that ooze out of lovey-dovey cards. I signed it simply “R~” hoping he wouldn’t know who it was from. It felt all too awkward because now he might start looking at me differently. That would be so embarrassing. I convinced myself he didn’t know it was me. But looking back I’m pretty sure he knew.

Christian faith can have its awkward moments as well. Jesus’ followers felt a sense of awkwardness because Jesus put them in that awkward situation when He said, “Who do you say that I am?”

When Jesus asked His disciples, who do you say that I am, there appeared a category of answers:    

  1. Some special guy? John the Baptist perhaps or Jeremiah? How about Elijah? Well, now that’s particularly special because the Old Testament stories of Elijah say that he never died. At one point in his life, God just took him up. After that, some say that Elijah will return and announce the coming of the Lord. So, if they were saying Jesus was Elijah then He was a super special guy. Even atheists believe Jesus was a super special guy. If you’re thinking Jesus is just special then you get to pick and choose what parts you like and don’t like. Therefore, that’s what you get when you simply say Jesus is a special guy. And, that’s what some of the disciples were thinking.
  2. Peter speaks up and says that Jesus is The Messiah. The Son of the living God. Not some special guy but the guy. All life comes from Him. Peter is saying Jesus is the transcendent God. This is an all or nothing proclamation. John Wesley said that once you get to that point in your faith then you need to be the best that you can be. The best embodiment of Jesus. To keep growing in our faith and stretching ourselves. The goal of Christians is to get to the place where we do and think as Jesus did. We don’t knowingly do what we know is wrong. How do you get there you ask? That place where we don’t just believe what we’re saying but it radically transforms who we are? We can’t do it on our own. Even when Peter said Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God it wasn’t just Peter saying it, it was God working in him.

John Wesley’s journal indicates that on one certain day something new happened that changed things from being about himself to being about God. He writes about attending a Methodist Society Meeting where he really didn’t want to be. But God stepped in and showed him how He works through men to get them to that place where they become transformed from sin and death.

Over time we see our faith being dialed up a year at a time or a moment at a time. I know my faith has grown throughout the years. I’ve witnessed things and experienced things that help me to see that it’s not about me or worldly things but it’s about God. Where He wants me to be. How he wants me to be. Who I believe He is. God works that way transforming us to where we need to be.

Today: who do you say that Jesus is?

Let’s look at it as a relationship. Kinda like boy meets girl.

  1. Friends – maybe good friends
  2. Like dating – more than friends – spend time together on the weekends
  3. Like being engaged – I’m convinced He’s the one but not quite ready to settle down.
  4. Like an ideal Godly vision of marriage – I’m intertwined with this person forever regardless of the circumstances.
  5. This is the Messiah the Son of the living God – knowing you are at that point where you can declare without provocation, He is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

The time will come when you will hear that question.

Who do you say that I am?

What will you say? Think about it!

February 14th

Celebrate the day with the ones you love