Who Do You Say I Am?
Most of us know the greatest stories ever told. Noah, his ark in the flood, and the promise of the rainbow. Moses parting the Red Sea as the Israelites escaped from Egypt. The baby Jesus lying in the manger with shepherds and wise men paying honor to the newborn King. The empty tomb on Sunday morning.
Often in stories our focus is on the action or the players or the outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose––to turn our focus to the Author of life. To fix our minds on God.
Renowned theologian A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing about you.” Why? Because what we believe about God affects everything. It affects how we interact with Him. It affects what we believe about ourselves. It affects how we treat others. It affects the decisions we make and the actions we take. It affects what parts of our life we invite Jesus into.
If we believe God is distant, we’ll take matters into our own hands. If we believe God is angry, we’ll walk on eggshells, or avoid Him, or maybe even lie. If we believe God is uncaring or too busy for us, we’ll struggle with finding purpose in life.
If we believe God forgives, we’ll approach His throne of grace with confidence, thankfulness, and relief. If we believe God heals, we’ll stop covering our wounds and allow His healing hand to touch us. If we believe He’s the giver of new life, we’ll unlock the dark places of our past and allow His light to dissolve the shadows and scatter the demons.
God’s desire is that each one of us would truly KNOW Him.
In any relationship, getting to know someone intimately takes time. But God has all the time in the world, and He’s inviting you to sit with Him, learn from His Word, and converse with Him through prayer. Even Jesus’s disciples went through a process of getting to know Him as they heard His teachings, asked questions, travelled with Him from town to town, and shared meals together. In Mark 8:27–30, their conversation turned to what people thought about Jesus. As Tozer said, what people think about God is most important.
Then Jesus asked His closest friends point blank, “What about you? Who do you say I am?”
Today, Jesus asks us this same question. And we may have different answers. Some of us, like Peter, can proclaim: Jesus, You are the Christ, the promised Savior, the Son of God!
Some of us may cling to God’s self-revelation in Exodus 34:6–7, affirming: You are Yahweh, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin. Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy.
Some of us may pray John 14:6: You are the way, the truth, and the life! Open my eyes and my mind to You, and grant me new life!
Some of us may cry out Psalm 23: You are my Shepherd. In Your grace, walk me through these dark valleys of the shadow of death. Bring me safely to the other side.
Some of us may be like the desperate father in Mark 9:24: Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief!
Some of us may affirm 1 John 4:8: God, You are love. Heal my broken heart and my broken life with Your unfailing love.
And some of us may not know what we believe about God or Jesus. To you Jesus says softly, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Walk with Me and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11:28–29)
Friends, whether or not we know the greatest stories, the Author of life wants us to know Him. And not just know about Him, but truly know Him personally and intimately as His beloved sons and daughters.
Who is the Author of life? God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
I encourage all of us to carve out some time today for a conversation with Jesus. And as He asks, “What about you? Who do you say I am?” be honest and open your heart to Him. If you’re not sure how to respond, begin to pray through some of the Scriptures above, or other passages that have been important to you in the past. Allow the power of the Spirit to speak to you through His living Word.
We cannot trust God with all of life and follow Him down unknown paths until we KNOW Him. I’m praying for your time with Jesus today.