Who am I
40 blogs of Lent – Day 3
Before looking at the times Jesus said, “I am,” in the writings of the apostle John, I would first like to look at an occurrence in the other Gospels where Jesus asked the question Who am I?
And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Mark 8:27-29 ESVUK
Two questions in fact, The first was a general question:
Who do people say that I am?
We can listen to other people all we want, and we hear what they think. Some say he was a figment of the early Christians imagination. Others that he was just an ordinary man, and that the miracles were a literary device by the writers. (Marcus Borg in the Book The meaning of Jesus has a curious middle ground, claiming that Jesus performed the healings but not the other miracles). Then there’s Jesus the revolutionary, the political activist. There’s thr politically right wing Jesus of American fundamentalism and the politically left wing Jesus of South American liberation theology.
Who do people say that Jesus was? They say a lot of things, some of which contradict the others.
But it becomes personal. Jesus turns the question around and asks a second question:
Who do you say that I am?
That question remains, as it was for the disciples it is for us. Jesus stands before us and asks us the question “Who do you, <insert your name here> say I am. It is personal. Jesus asks us the question not in an academic way, it is not a theological question but is calling us into a relationship. Answers are personal, depending on what Jesus has done in our lives.
As far as we know, eleven of the twelve disciples did not answer this second question, or at least their answers were not recorded. We only have Peter’s reply.
Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. Mark 8:29-30
This is the pivot point of the Gospel, After Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ or Messiah, Gods anointed one, Jesus ministry changing from being an itinerant preacher/healer to going towards Jerusalem.
In your life the pivot point of salvation is also the same question. Jesus is asking you personally, “Who do you say that I am?”
Here’s singer Larry Norman’s take on it.
Bible quotes are from the English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.