Today’s Thoughts – What about you, who do you say Jesus is?
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 13, 2010
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. (Mark 8:29-30)
Interestingly there are those who want to use any excuse they can in order to assuage their own sin guilt. When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do the people say I am?” they gave him all kinds of answers. Then Jesus does something curious, he pointedly asked them, “Who do you say I am?” Why would Jesus do that? I believe Jesus wanted them to understand fully who he was, because if they did not, what was going to occur would leave them bewildered, scattered, and spiritually shattered.
So, what about you right now today, who do you say Jesus is? Your answer says a lot about what you truly believe about Jesus. The crowds of Jesus’ day wanted someone who would solve their physical, financial, or national problems. Most were not that concerned about their spirituality. The religious leaders of the day had spiritually blinded them to the reality of their situation. The crowd was comfortable in allowing them to dictate what they should do concerning their relationship with God. They were contented with their festivals, religious ceremonies, and perpetual sacrifices. And, believe me, so were the religious leaders. They were getting quite wealthy off the dupes in the crowd.
You would think that after Peter’s answer, Jesus would have praised him, given him the keys to the kingdom or something. Contrary to Catholic opinion, Jesus does not do that. We find that in Matthew’s gospel he tells Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19) Nowhere in Jesus’ pronouncement to Peter do we find him giving Peter the title of “Papa,” Pope. What we do find is that Peter falls into seeing Jesus as the “Christ” (Messiah) but Peter’s view of him is distorted just as the crowd’s is because Peter immediately tries to rebuke Jesus’ Messiahship. For doing so, Jesus calls Peter “Satan.” Wow. Peter did not understand and was a “stumbling block” to Jesus and did “not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:21-23) And, that dear child of God is where much of the world and many Christians are today.
Do you have the in mind the things of God or rather your own idea on who Jesus should be in your life? Whether you realize it or not what you actually do, what you often say, and how you relate to those around you displays to rest of the world what you truly believe about Jesus. So, what do you have in mind today, the things of God or Satan? What about you, who do you say Jesus is?
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2010 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission. You now have my permission…