At some point in each person’s life, the issue of who we believe Jesus Christ to be will be of paramount importance. It is as true in 2017 as it was at the time Jesus was on earth.
The issue was brought front and center during His ministry when Jesus directly asked it of His disciples:
“And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’” And they told him, ‘John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.’ And he asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Christ.’”
Mark 8:27-29 ESV
Keep in mind, Jesus is God – so He already knew what the general population said about His identity, and He knew what the disciples thought as well. But, He wanted to give them the opportunity to think about it and to develop their answer to the question because it would shape their ministry in the future.
Peter’s response “You are the Christ” is the most affirming and exact statement of Jesus’ identity that Peter could possibly have given. Jesus was, indeed, the Messiah then, and He still is.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the pastor at Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England, addressed the issue of who Jesus is on January 7th, 1872 when he delivered a sermon entitled “The Glorious Master and the Swooning Disciple.” His sermon began with the following words:
Low thoughts of the Lord Jesus Christ are exceedingly mischievous to believers. If you sink your estimate of Him you shift everything else in the same proportion.
He who thinks lightly of the Savior thinks so much the less of the evil of sin; and, consequently, he becomes callous as to the past, careless as to the present, and venturesome as to the future. He thinks little of the punishment due to sin, because he has small notions of the atonement made for sin. Christian activity for right is also abated; as well as holy horror of wrong.
He who thinks lightly of the Lord Jesus renders to Him but small service; he does not estimate the Redeemer’s love at a rate high enough to stir his soul to ardor; if he does not count the blood wherewith he was redeemed an unholy thing, yet he thinks it a small matter, not at all sufficient to claim from him life-long service. Gratitude is weak when favors are undervalued. He serves little who loves little, and he loves little who has no sense of having been greatly beloved.
The man who thinks lightly of Christ also has but poor comfort as to his own security. With a little Savior I am still in danger, but if He be the mighty God, able to save unto the uttermost, then am I safe in His protecting hand, and my consolations are rich and abounding. In these, and a thousand other ways, an unworthy estimate of our Lord will prove most solemnly injurious. The Lord deliver us from this evil.
In short, if you have low esteem for the Lord, your concept of sin will be minimal, the extent of your service will be lessened, and your security in salvation will be diminished.
So, if Jesus were standing before you, how would YOU answer the question:
“Who do YOU say that I am?”
Father, I praise Your holy name as I consider the mighty work that You did in sending Your Son to be my Savior and Lord. I pray that Your Word will be fruitful in our world today, as it was so many years ago.