Who do you say Jesus is? If you took a piece of paper and a pencil to write down an answer, what would you write? Most certainly, many would write down the word Messiah. Others would write the word Savior on their paper. A few might write Lord and some might write Lamb of God. There are many other attributes for Jesus that could be written, but what do all these things mean? When asked by a non-believer, can Christians fully define who Jesus is?
In our text for today, Jesus asks, “Who do the people say I am?” The disciples respond with several persons, but none are correct. Then Jesus asks, “Who do you say I am?” Peter declares he is the Christ, the Son of God. Following Peter’s confession, Jesus explains more concerning the Son of Man. He must be handed over and suffer. He must be put to death then rise again. And any who would follow him must deny themselves and follow his example of love and service toward neighbor. That’s the answer to yet one more question; “Who do you say you are?”
Saved by the innocent blood of Christ and claimed by God in baptism, you are a precious child of God. You are one whose sins are forgiven. You are one who has received the promise of eternal life. The way we proclaim Jesus as the risen Christ is through the love we are called to show our neighbor and by the deeds we perform addressing the needs of those whom God has placed within our midst.
Who is Jesus? He is the Christ, God incarnate. He is the one whom, as the Apostle Paul said, “God made to be sin, he who had no sin.” This Jesus bought and redeemed us, not with silver or gold, but with his own precious blood. Through him only are God’s people saved.
Understanding this, the question remains, people of God, “Who do you say that YOU are?” The answer cannot simply be written on a slip of paper. The answer to this question can only be revealed as we give thanks to God for his grace through Christ Jesus, and serve the God we cannot see by loving and serving the neighbor we can see.
Gracious God, lead us by the example of your Son, that we may be reflections of his love. In Christ we pray. Amen.