Who is Jesus? A question that still needs asking.
Luke 9 v 18-20 “Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
There were times such as this one when the disciples heard Jesus praying. Can you imagine? Being able to eavesdrop on the prayers of the Messiah? In the garden of Gethsemane though falling asleep they did remember hearing parts of his prayer. But here Luke only records what happened next, after the praying.
Matthew and Mark say that this happened in the region of Caesarea Philippi, the birthplace of all the pantheon of gods and goddesses. “Who do people say I am? Who do you say I am?” in the context of the world’s idols on display.
Luke has the context differently, set in the place of prayer. He doesn’t major on where they were in the sense of the region. It was where they were in the realm of prayer that is the importance for Luke.
I like that he does this.
In fact, Luke is the gospel writer who seems to speak the most about the prayer life of Jesus and a cursory flick through will show this and that “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (5:16) and these were recorded.
But here in this place of prayer the poignancy is in what happens next. This is definitely a chapter turning. From here on Jesus is definitely thinking of Jerusalem and the reason for his coming, his death.
Our world has changed in what seems so quickly, almost overnight. We are the generation that have seen major technological change, breakthroughs in the medical field and a greater acceptance of the identity of humanity. The last one being one of the greatest challenges the Church has faced. I am open to any kind of change. I want life to be better. So long as from day one we keep on answering the question, “Who do you say I am?” The Jew, the Christian and the Muslim all have shared beliefs. But only one is correct regarding the identity of Jesus. There are endless conferences, demonstrations, books, media coverage regarding the identity of humanity. But I think who Jesus is far outweighs the need to know who I am.
- Find your true identity.
- 6 specific ways to know who you are.
- A guide to finding yourself.
- Who am I?
- Be me.
The list goes on and so much of it reads well and good.
However, you can find your true identity and not know who Jesus is.
Answering the question, ‘who do you say I am?’ leads to finding who you are and how you should be in this complicated world.
Luke will tell us that with Jesus being the Messiah, the Saviour then:
- We will have to lose our life and what we want (9:24).
- We will have to listen to Him (9:35).
- We will stop trying to be better than anyone else (9:48).
- We will stop trying to hurt those who disagree with us (9:54).
- We will pay the full price of following Jesus (9:57).
In this private place of prayer we discover something that could be said today:
- More people got it wrong than got it right.
- Just because everyone says so or a voice is loudest, doesn’t make it correct.
- The answers of the crowd were good but they were not right.
- Having empathy and sympathy doesn’t mean you have to agree.
- It is easier to believe a Messiah will come rather than believe the Messiah is here.
- Life in the imagination often beats life in the reality.
- It is what you say not what you think that counts.
- Your words are final, they last long after you have gone, it is time to speak up.
- If you say, ‘Jesus is the Saviour’ then it effects how you follow.
- The identification of who Jesus is will cost you, ‘who do you say I am?’