By now, Jesus was about halfway through his ministry, and was starting to look toward the cross. But as he did, he wanted his disciples to really think about who he was. Was he just a prophet? Was he just a good teacher? Who did they think he was? And so after asking what the disciples had heard people say about him, he asked them,
But what about you? Who do you say I am? (Matthew 16:15)
This is the question of the ages. It is the question that he asks everyone, even today.
What about you? Who do you say I am?
Do you think he was a prophet? Well, certainly Jesus was a prophet. And through him, we heard the words of God.
Was he a good man? That goes without saying. He lived a perfectly sinless life.
But is he more?
Peter certainly thought so. He said,
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16)
The disciples and the Jews, at this point, still didn’t completely understand the concept of Messiah. It was something they still had to learn, and that’s part of the reason that Jesus told them not to tell anyone. It’s hard to teach someone something that you don’t understand yourself.
They had no idea at this point that Messiah had to die for the forgiveness of sins. What they did know was that the Messiah would someday reign, and that’s where all their focus was.
How about you? Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah? Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross so that your sins might be forgiven? More than that, is he your king? Have you surrendered your life to him?
You see, Jesus is not simply a good man or a prophet. He is God himself. The Jews themselves recognized this. You could call yourself a child of God in the sense that God created you. But to call yourself uniquely the Son of God was to claim deity for yourself. That was their basis for crucifying him (Matthew 26:63-66).
As God and king, Jesus is worthy of your worship and your service. But do you believe it? Have you come to the place where you can say as Peter did, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God?”
If you are, and you have never committed your life to him before, it starts with a simple prayer.
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are more than just a good man. More than a prophet. I believe that you are God. That you died on the cross for my sins, and that you rose again. Thank you. Be my king. Be my Lord. I want to follow you from now on. Teach me what it means to follow you each day. In Jesus name, amen.