Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”
-Mark 8:27-29 (NIV)
Jesus is walking with his disciples around Caesarea Philippi, a pagan city known for its worship of many gods. Fittingly, he asks them, “Who do people say I am?” They reply back with the big names — John the Baptist, Elijah, a prophet. All of which are very flattering comparisons.
Then, when the question is directed at Peter, he answers more specifically — You are the Christ.
It’s really not much different than the thoughts of people today. Ask the question of “Who is Jesus?” and you’ll get a plethora of answers… Jesus is the Savior, the Son of God, a wise teacher, revolutionary leader, a unique prophet, a ground-breaking rabbi, a good role model, a myth, a legend.
Unfortunately, simply believing in Jesus isn’t enough. We must also believe Jesus. The former is head knowledge; the latter is heart knowledge. Jesus came to thoroughly change our lives, not just our brains.
At lot of people admire Jesus, but don’t believe him. A lot of people are inquisitive toward Jesus, but don’t follow him. A lot of people like the idea of Jesus, but don’t trust him.
Was Jesus a teacher, leader, prophet, rabbi and role model? Yes. But those titles don’t do him justice. Jesus is also so much more. He is the Christ. The Messiah. The King of all kings. The Lord of all lords. The Savior of you and I.
So the question remains just as crucial and heart-piercing as it was 2,000 years ago… Who do you say that Jesus is?