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February 21, 2018, 7:11 AM

Jesus Is ______.



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ he asked, ‘Who do you say I am?’ (Matthew 16:13-15)

Leadership books are a dime a dozen today. Everyone has an angle. Some authors offer a key to effective leadership. Many writers have come up with a catchy title. But, basically, leaders fall into one of two categories: those who lead according to public consensus, and those who lead based on personal convictions. Those who lead according to public opinion wait until the polling data is in so they can see their constituent’s thoughts on a certain issue. Once they have this information, then – and usually only then – will they take a stand on an issue. In contrast are those individuals who lead based on personal conviction. Deep in the fiber of their being, they have convictions about what is right and what is wrong, and those convictions dictate their leadership decisions.

It was on this very point that our Lord took His disciples away from the Galilean crowds. Thousands of people had flocked to them on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee, and they had been expending themselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Thus, Jesus marched them twenty-five miles north, all the way up the foothills of Mt Hermon, to the headwaters of the Jordan River. There, around a fire, they engaged in a conversation about true leadership and faith in Him.

First, our Lord asked the question, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” This is a question about public opinion. This is a question of public consensus. Then He asked His disciples another question. He asked them a question of personal conviction. Jesus’ second question was personal and direct. “Who do you say that I am?” In the language of the New Testament, the “you” is emphatic: its placement at the front of the sentence gives it significance and weight. Had we been there listening to our Lord that evening, Jesus’ question would have sounded more like this: “What about you, you and you only, you and no one else, you and you alone – who do you say that I am?”

In our pluralistic culture, to say that Christ is the one and only way to heaven is akin to waving a red cape in front of a raging bull. We set ourselves up for attack when we state that Jesus is indeed the one and only way to heaven. Yet that is the truth, and we need to follow Simon Peter’s example. When our Lord asked this question, Peter immediately replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Following our Lord’s example, Peter used the emphatic you and said, “You, Lord, and You alone, You and there is absolutely no possibility of anyone else, You are the one and only Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter made this power declaration amid a pluralistic culture that was very similar to our own. What about us? What stand will we take when people ask us who Jesus is?

Let us join in prayer: Enable us, O Lord, to walk before you in holiness and righteousness to Your praise and glory. Strengthen our resolve and help us to take a stand for You. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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