TITLE: Who Is He?
DATE: November 3, 2018
TEXT: Matthew 16:13b-16 (ESV) …(Jesus)he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
The children of the Sunday School were making their yearly presentation of the Christmas story.
Parents were proud and grandparents became nostalgic remembering Christmases past. All had gone well with the service, until…there is always an “until” in a children’s Christmas service. All had gone well, until they reached that point in time when the service wanted to show Jesus as being the “light” of the world.
Here’s the scene: Joseph and Mary were saintly-looking and the shepherds were kneeling in respect. When all were in place the student controlling the lights was to throw all the switches, except for one. That switch controlled a small light bulb placed in the manger. With the congregation in darkness that single light would have been impressive.
Unfortunately, the light-switch-boy got rattled and he turned off ALL the lights. The total darkness was matched by the total quiet. The silence was finally broken by a shepherd who very loudly whispered, “Hey! You switched off Jesus!"
For the boy, ‘switching off Jesus’ was accidental. That is not the case for many religions who deliberately, and disobediently, switch off the Savior. For them, the Light Who was, and is, Jesus, has been turned down, turned off and unplugged.
I am not surprised when Islam turns off Jesus, the Savior, and replaces Him with a demoted Jesus, the Prophet. Nor am I shocked when members of the Bahai faith suggest that Jesus is not the way, truth and light, but one of the seven different manifestations of God. I don’t become livid when I find that Hindus demote Jesus into being just one god among a multitude of deities. There are other faiths, too numerous to list here, who have reinvented, and redefined the Lord, forcing the Savior into an lesser position of reverence and respect.
But you know, in this devotion I’m not concerned about what other faiths say about Jesus, or how they switch off the Savior’s light. I do care how you answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?” I want to know, Who is Jesus to you?”
You know, that is the most important question anyone will answer. And while there are many wrong answers to that inquiry, there is only one correct reply. That answer echoes the words the Holy Spirit gave to Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
I say our answer “begins” with Peter’s reply, but it doesn't end there. That’s because we stand on the other side of the resurrection. We have been there when humanity’s sins were laid on the Redeemer in the Garden of Gethsemane. We have listened as lies were told about Him at His illegal and unfair trials. We have watched as He was condemned and crucified. We have been amazed as He forgave those who had murdered Him and saw the sadness of those who buried Him.
Most importantly we have watched as the stone was rolled away from the entrance of Jesus’ tomb so a doomed and damned world might see Christ has risen. Because of these insights given us from Scripture, to Peter’s answer we can add, “Jesus, You are the Fulfiller of prophecies, my Savior Who has suffered, died and risen from the dead to win my forgiveness and welcome me into heaven.”
That is what we can say, because that is Who He is.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, no matter what Jesus’ critics and enemies may say about Him, may we cling to the Savior of Scripture Who is our salvation. In His Name. Amen.