Matthew 16:13 / When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
Can you imagine this moment for Jesus’ disciples? They’ve seen Jesus feed thousands with a couple of fish sandwiches… fish and chips basically. They’ve just heard him lecture them about holding fast to their faith in Him. Now, they’re faced with this big question. Jesus looks at them in the face. I can imagine his look is a little stern and his tone a little deep. He says,
Who do people say I am?
So naturally, like we’d all probably do, they try to deflect the question. Sure, Jesus was asking about other people, but they knew this was about them too.
Isn’t that what we often do when confronted with something? We try to compare to others or answer for others. Better yet, we think about ourselves but we only talk about the others. What they do. What they did.
The disciples attempt that deflecting the question thing and then Jesus rephrases it. He so often does that when He speaks to me. I’m hard headed so He has to get a little more blunt the next time to get my attention. Jesus deepens His voice a little more and says,
Who do YOU say I am?
Of course, if you know the story, you know this is Peter’s defining moment. It’s on the highlight reel of his life. It’d be his cover photo on Facebook. He answers, “You are the Messiah!” Jesus goes on to make some big promises. He promises Peter that His faith is valid and that He’s gonna build His church upon faith like that.
So, who do you say He is?
Our answer to that question has the potential to change lives, eternities, our lives, our eternities. It changes why we get up, why we go to work, why we talk, why we serve, why we manage our money the way we do, why we love our families the way we do, and why we live our lives.
No, not our answer and what we’d say verbally, but our real answer to that question is dictating the course of our lives. Our real answer is the motive behind what we do or don’t do.
Who is He?
Who are you?
If you ask yourself that question, who do people say you are? Would they come up with the right answer? Would it be one you’d like?
I’m not talking about those people that don’t like you or that you’ve brushed off, I’m talking about those closest to you. Your family, your kids, your spouse, the people you lead, the family you live with, those are the people that really count. Who do they say you are? It matters.
The patterns in our lives determine the patterns of thought in people’s minds when they think of us. It’s not enough to want to be like Jesus or want to be a person of integrity or love, but we have to live it out. It has to be who we are, not just what we like to say we do.
Who is He?
Who are we?
It matters! It counts!