Monday, June 20, 2016

Who is Jesus?

Written by Pastor Stuppy
June 22, 2016

I don’t know how you feel but I think this is one of the strangest political years I have ever seen. On the one side you have former Secretary of the State, Hilary Clinton, a woman who is being investigated by the FBI, who is not considered to be honest and trustworthy even by those who support her. Then on the other side you have business man Donald Trump who has struck a note with many Americans who are angry with the establishment in Washington DC and yet his offensive rhetoric and lack of detailed plans makes even those of his own party think he is unfit for the presidency and are unwilling to support him. Yet they are the presumptive nominees for their party so each has support from a lot of people. Two individuals – each seen by others in so many different ways of who each one is and what they will do if elected.
I get the feeling from reading Scripture that the same was true of Jesus. If you asked people about him, you would get a lot of different answers. In fact, Jesus did ask this question of the disciples. Their response bore this out. Some thought he was John the Baptist. Others, a rabbi or simply the son of Joseph the carpenter.
When Jesus asked the disciples who they thought he was, Peter replied. “You are the Christ” (Lk 9:20). Peter was right. Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Christ. Jesus was the one promised by God to be the Savior. He came not to save Israel from its political foes but from sin, death and hell. He came not to save only Israel but all of humanity. His work as our Savior, his suffering and death on the cross, his resurrection were to take place soon. Jesus wanted his disciples to be ready.
Jesus’ question of his disciples is just as important today as it once was. “Who do you say that I am?” How would you answer it? A great prophet! An amazing teacher! The Son of God and Savior of mankind? How you answer that question is important. It determines how you will live your life here on earth and where you will spend eternity.
It doesn’t matter what others think or say. What matters is what you believe. Do you believe that you are a sinner, lost and condemned because of those sins? Do you believe that no matter how good you look in your eyes or in the eyes of others, you are a sinner through and through in God’s eyes? Do you believe there is nothing you can do to take those sins away or make up for them? Do you believe your only hope of forgiveness and salvation is Jesus Christ? Great! Worry no longer! Jesus took care of your sins. They are gone. Jesus died so you might live. Jesus endured the pain and torment of hell so you could spend eternity in heaven.
All this is God’s gift to you. “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23) It’s summed up well by Jesus in John 6:40. “For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." (NIV)

“Who do you say that I am?” May your answer be the same as Peter’s. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, my Savior! – Savior of the world!