The Question: Who is Jesus?
In Luke 9:18-20, Jesus poses a question to his disciples. Who do the crowds say that I am? It is the most important question that has ever been asked. It lays the foundation for everything. It is the difference between a cult and a church. It is the difference between the saved and the lost.
The Error: What the Crowds say
Some say that Jesus is John the Baptist. John was a great man and a great teacher of righteousness. Many say that of Jesus today. And it’s true. He is a great man. And he is a teacher of righteousness. But if that’s all you believe about Jesus, you have missed the most important part.
Others say he was Elijah. Elijah was prophesied in Malachi 4:5-6 to return to usher in the day of the Lord and to bring peace to families. In other words, Elijah would return as a revolutionary and a peacemaker. Jesus is both of those things. But if that’s all you understand of Jesus, then you, too, have missed something essential.
Other say that Jesus is a prophet. Again, he is a prophet. He speaks for the Father and points the way to the Father. But he is also much more than a prophet.
The Follow-up: Who do You say Jesus is?
Jesus then put the question to the disciples. It’s a question that every man and woman must answer for him- or herself. How you answer that question is the most important thing about you. What you believe in your mind and in your heart and how it manifests itself in your life determines how you will spend eternity.
According to Luke’s gospel, Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” There is a lot of truth packed into those four words. Using that confession — along with Matthew’s record of the same and much more scripture — we understand two essential elements of who Jesus is. Jesus is God, and Jesus is the Christ.
But what does that mean. Many people will say Jesus is God (or “god” or “a god”) and mean something very different from what the Bible teaches about Jesus. Others will call Jesus the Christ but have little idea what that entails. Listen to the sermon to find what it means that Jesus is God and that he is Christ.