Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who do you say He is?

Mark 8:29 And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ."

Our study of the book of Daniel has brought me into a crucial point today. 
We explore the concept of loyalty.  In our workbook we see that loyalty, in the context of our relationship with God and our brothers, means “that when a sudden temptation poses a character question, if we have true conviction in that area, we do not have to consider how we’ll answer it.  Loyalty means the question has already been answered.  We simply act upon it.”  So when our friends from the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king in chapter 3:16-18:  “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king, But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we WILL NOT serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up,” they demonstrated a level of loyalty that had been perfected as they lived lives of integrity and conviction that The Most High God is the One and Only God; the only one who deserves our worship; the only one worthy of our complete devotion and love.  He is the only one worth dying for.

Of course this doesn’t mean that we are expected to be “Super Christians,”  not afraid of anything and ready to die on the spot.  It is not by our power, remember?  I believe the Holy Spirit is telling me here that we must experience a healthy dose of conviction which will move us to action and to be prepared at all times.  After all, we are to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15)  I believe that a crucial part of such preparation is to have determined some foundational answers to the most critical questions regarding our faith, so, when the moment comes, we don’t hesitate.  However, what questions are the crucial ones?  Where do we begin to figure that out?  In my opinion, Jesus himself tells us.  He tells us as He told his disciples when He walked on this earth.  Back then, when his beloved followers were telling Him how some where saying that He was “John the Baptist; others Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life;"  (Luke 9:19) Jesus posed backed to them what I consider the most crucial question of all: “But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" (Luke 9:20) 

Who do you say He is?  Who do you say Jesus is?  If we answer this question with conviction, stick to it and remain loyal to this answer, we’ll be prepared.  Let’s not waste another minute and spend time right now answering this question.  Who do you say Jesus is?  Meditate on it.  Ponder it.  Wrestle with it.  Examine the evidence.  Do what you have to do, and come out being able to reply, just like Peter said:  “You are the Christ.” Examine His pierced body.   Like Thomas, see His wounds, put your fingers in the holes on His wrists, and stick your hand in His side, wonder and finally marvel at His sight and say, like Thomas:  “My Lord and My God.” 

“Who do you say I am?”  You are the Christ!  You are the Great I AM.  Lord of all and Lord of my life.  You are my Lord and my God, without a doubt.  He cannot be anything short of this.  All the other answers are not of the Holy Spirit.  He is not a great teacher.  He is not a great man that lived 2000 years ago.  He is not a great healer.  He is not a loving man who did some great things.  He is not one more in the collection of the gods of this world. 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only; who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”  (John:1 1,14)

“Who do you say I am?”

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