Sunday, August 25, 2013

Questions from God #5...Who Do You Say I Am

Who Do You Say I Am

The twelve disciples had been with Jesus for over two years. Now near Caesarea Philippi Jesus wants their assessment of who He is. That’s fair enough! If you are going to call yourself a follower of someone best to make a true and accurate judgement. The account of their assessment and that of others quoted is found in Matthew 16.

When you seriously consider this question your response becomes the most critical one you will ever make. So much hinges on your understanding and thereby your choices.

Views about Jesus range from him being a myth, a miracle worker, a teacher prophet to Saviour, Lord and Son of God. The overwhelming bulk of information about this Man of Nazareth comes from the Judeo-Christian Bible. Some say this is biased. True! However that doesn’t make it false. These 66 books have been placed under the severest scrutiny. No flaws have been discovered in their testimony even though they have undergone such stringent examinations over time.

Across the centuries individuals and religious movements have endeavoured to tie Jesus to their ideology. Such attempts feign to honour him when in reality they are either exploiting or denigrating Him. One such group today calls Him a prophet. That is true. Then they betray their real view by disclaiming most of what He said, especially about Himself. The biggest issue is His assertion to be the Son of God. (Matthew 26:63-64. John 10:22-39. Romans 1:1-6)

This religious and political movement also rejects what Jesus claimed to be His ultimate mission. He came to fulfil the references to the Messiah in the 66 books of the Old Covenant. That meant He was to be the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. To be that meant He had to die. For that to happen meant charges worthy of death. The Jewish people’s charge was about blasphemy. The Roman’s charge was about treason and sedition. The manner of capital punishment for non Romans of that time was Crucifixion. History and Scripture record that event.

Why then would any one who says they honour Jesus especially as a prophet call Him a coward and a liar? He is made into a coward by duping some other person to take His place. He is a liar because He claimed this was His mission. Jesus was to die as a substitute for Humanity. Why? To deliver them from eternal judgement and loss but if He chickened out it was a failed mission! Who wants to be named as a follower of such a wimp!

To deny the Eternal nature of Jesus is a subtle way of contradicting the biblical view of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Granted such a view of the Eternal Living God is hard to understand. However that is how He has revealed Himself. Some would try and say that when Jesus used the filial term of Father He was referring to Allah. This is nonsense and anti biblical. Allah has links with the Moon god not to the one who said ‘I am that I am’. The triune Lord God revealed in Scripture is the God from everlasting to everlasting.

Whenever people want to make Jesus more presentable to the modern age they actually rob Him of His identity. Included in that is the rejection of the cross and resurrection, His role as Judge and returning King to reign over the Kingdom of God.

So much more can be said. In coming question time more might be stressed about the person and work of Jesus. Why is the question Jesus asked about a person’s assessment of who He is so important? Because the answer you give will have eternal consequences that no other religious leader, prophet or guru can match. This is perhaps one reason Jesus isn’t liked by other religions. Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.’ On that there is no compromise!

What do you think of Jesus? On whose authority!

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