For the last couple of weeks I’ve posted claims Jesus made about himself recorded in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each claim Jesus made created an uproar in his community and among the Jewish religious leaders. People either embraced his claims—though not fully aware of the magnitude—or they scorned him and wanted to shut him up.
Jesus’ claims left no middle ground. Either he spoke the truth and he is the Son of God sent to the world to be its Savior and King, or he was a false prophet and Israel is still waiting for its promised Messiah.
How do we determine the veracity of his claims—especially now, two thousand years later?
In Jesus’ time, he performed miracles, voices declared his name from the heavens, and he was seen walking, talking, eating, and teaching three days after he was crucified and buried. If we’d been around then, perhaps we’d have the assurance we need to believe he spoke truth.
My search for the truth about Jesus began in a community of friends. They loved and served Jesus and the consequence of their relationship with Christ was loving and serving me—and teaching me about Jesus. Their affection for Jesus inspired a desire in me for such a relationship.
I sought Christ and he made himself known to me. I hear his voice and see him move in my life. I pray to him, read his words, and my love and adoration for him grows. This is the impact Jesus has on the lives of those who follow him—we are changed. Re-created!
Our lives take a new course of service to our King Jesus. Our lives are to mirror Jesus’. He empowers us by his Spirit to accomplish the mission of love, compassion, humility, and mercy he gave us. We are to forgive our enemies, bless those who curse us, confess and repent of our sins, and share the good news of Jesus with everyone. These commands to love others are to be the evidence of our devotion to Christ—and they are not burdensome because his love for us overflows.
The question which remains is—What about you? Who do you say Jesus is?
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 16: 15-17 (NIV)