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Who am I?

December 1, 2014

Question Mark 4“Who do you say that I am?” This is one of the great questions of the Bible. After two and a half years with them, Jesus asks His disciples who they believe Him to be. This is one of the vital questions of the Bible. Who do you say Jesus is? Get this question wrong and there is no hope of salvation. One is not saved just by correctly acknowledging Jesus’ person and nature, but without the right belief of who Jesus is there is no salvation. There is most certainly a right and wrong answer to this question. One can readily offer a number of popular wrong answers. He is a prophet. He is a great teacher. He is a good man. He is a moral example. He is a man filled with God’s Spirit. He is a spiritual being created by God and mightier than angles. He is an ancient martyr. He is a revolutionary for the common people. He is a champion of the oppressed. Though these answers exalt Jesus above the common view of men and offer Him great respect, they do not lift Him up high enough. Jesus may be exalted to heights far above humanity, yet if He is not lifted all the way up to the heights of His true glory, then He is dishonored.

In answer to the question, Who do you say I am, the disciples, with Peter as their spokesman, professed their belief that Jesus is “The Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:16) Mark, as is his style, gives the briefest record of Peter’s answer, “Thou art the Christ” yet even in its brevity the answer is filled with glorious truth!

Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is not Jesus’ nickname. Christ is a title. If Peter had said, “You are the king” or “You are the President” or “You are the Boss”, we would have no problem understanding His answer. Peter answer the question with a declaration of the title and position held by Jesus. The title “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew “Messiah”. Messiah is the title given by God in Daniel 9 to the one promised to save God’s people. The Messiah is the promised one who would first deliver His people from their sin and then one day rule over the entire world in peace and justice. Peter declares he and the other disciples believe Jesus to be the one promised by God to bring salvation to the world.

God opened the disciples eyes and gave them understanding of the truth. This attestation is central to the entire book of Mark. The gospel of Mark was written to declare the good news of “Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’ (Mark 1:1) The miracles and teachings recorded are all driven to this single point. Now, in a monumental moment of understanding, Peter declares they believe Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God. The accounts of Jesus’ great deeds, the records of His confrontation with the Pharisees and the relating of His great teaching are not given to fascinate us with scintillating tales. These things are not given to give us things to talk about. All the great events communicated in the gospel of Mark are given to drive us to the certain conviction that Jesus is God the Savior.

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