Who is this Jesus guy? That’s the number one question which the gospels are trying to answer for us. Is Jesus just a regular person, is He a prophet, or is He even more than we can imagine? Early this week Peter will get the answer right when He proclaims that Jesus is the “Son of the living God”, but the gospels don’t stop there. They continue on and show us Jesus’ true nature by giving us a glimpse of His glory in the transfiguration. That event is then followed by Jesus’ own words about who He is.
As we read the gospels this question of “Who is Jesus?” becomes more than a question asked of disciples and Pharisees. It becomes a question for us, too. It is a question whose answer drastically affects our lives both now on earth and our final home after judgment.
Let me explain: Messiah Lutheran Church, (and to be honest every church in the world), has people on their books who would say on a phone survey that they are Christian. Unfortunately, their faith is nothing more than words. As you read this week, ask yourself, “Do I believe the truth that the Holy Spirit is trying to place into my heart about Jesus? Do I believe that Jesus is God’s Son sent to save me?” In other words, “If you were put on trial for being a follower of Jesus, would you have given enough evidence to convict you?”
These readings challenge three different types of people in three different ways.
1. The first group are those who find themselves standing with the Pharisees in unbelief. These texts dare you to continue to read the salvation story of Scripture. You see, God has promised that He will work through His Word and through His Holy Spirit. The Lord is knocking at your heart and wants to give you the wonders of His forgiveness and love which faith brings.
2. Second, if you are doubting or struggling with who Jesus is, bring your doubts and concerns to God. There were many people in Jesus’ day Who knew Jesus was Someone amazing. Even so, they had some questions about exactly Who He was. If this is you, continue reading God’s word and bring your doubts to God asking Him to strengthen your faith and answer your questions. There was not a single person who brought their honest and heartfelt doubts to Jesus that He turned away.
3. Lastly, if you believe, ask yourself, “Do I live the truth I know about Jesus? Do I live my life as if Jesus is the Son of God sent to save me or do I live my life as if Jesus was just a teacher from long ago? Ask yourself, “What difference does faith make in my life?” If the answer is none, through prayer and introspection take a good look at the things you can change and ask the Lord for direction to the new ways you can reflect the faith that lives in you.