Who is Jesus? Many have asked that question and many give different answers. Jesus put the question to his disciples in this section of scripture and the answer is quite telling.
Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” (Verse 27) The disciples responded that many thought Jesus to be John the Baptist, or Elijah or one of the old prophets who had risen from the dead. The people thought this way because of the power Jesus had. They recognised that the power he had was not of this earth, but was spiritual and thus he must have been the risen spirit of one of the old prophets.
Now it is amazing that they thought this way. The whole of the nation of Israel from the beginning after Moses led them from Egypt had been awaiting the Messiah. They knew he was coming for it had been foretold in the scriptures through the words of many of the prophets. The priests were searching the scriptures at the time of Jesus’ birth to identify where the Messiah was to be born and recognised he was to come from Bethlehem, the city of David the King.
But when he appeared they did not recognise him for who he was. Why? Because the revelation of Jesus Christ comes from God, not from man.
Jesus then asked the disciples who they thought Jesus was. Peter answered saying, “You are the Christ.” (Verse 29) In the Matthew version of this event Jesus says to Peter, “And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) In this saying we see that Peter had been shown who Jesus was not by man but by God.
The revelation of Jesus Christ comes from God. No-one can come to Jesus unless he is called by the Father, as Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” (John 6:44)
When we are called to come to Christ we are called by God to come to him. This is a very humbling piece of information when you stop to consider it for a moment. The Creator of all things has taken the time out to come to you personally and ask you to get to know his son, Jesus Christ. This is a personal invitation from God Almighty to you. Furthermore, in knowing Jesus and being known by God, he will give you the inheritance of his kingdom and eternal life as well. Not a bad deal for just saying, “Yes. I accept your invitation.”
How can people ignore the God of all creation and say, “Not interested.” Yet they do. People do not recognise who Jesus is because it has not been shown to them. There are plenty of people who have read the Bible and yet think of Jesus as just a good man that lived a long time ago and started up a religion. Not many are willing to accept him as the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and a saviour for all mankind.
Yet those who do accept him receive the promises of God. They receive the blessings of the Lord both in this life and the promised life to come. To Jesus then we need to say thank you in the recognition as Peter stated, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
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