Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:13-16)
My husband is a pastor with a mischievous sense of humor. Every time I ask him what he's preaching on this week, he says, "I'm going to preach on 'Who is Jesus?'" If he had preached on that topic every time he said he would, we'd be up to about 5,000 sermons on it so far!
Still, he's got one thing right. The question "Who is Jesus?" is very important. Peter got it right—he answered Jesus, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." What does this mean? And what does it mean for us?
First of all, Jesus is the Christ—the Anointed One, the One God chose to be our King and Savior. He is the One God promised long ago to send into this world. All the prophets foretold His coming.
This means we can rely on Him. He is not some self-appointed Messiah who will let us down in hard times. The full authority of God lies behind Him. Whatever He says and does is what God sent Him to do and say. He is utterly trustworthy.
Second, He is the Son of the living God. Jesus is not simply a man, no matter how great or wonderful. He is in fact God Himself—the Second Person of the Trinity, sent by God the Father to become a human being among us. This means He is not limited. As the Bible says, "He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him" (Hebrews 7:25a). Because He is the Son of God, His suffering and death on the cross are enough to rescue every one of us—and to raise us from the dead, just as He Himself rose.
THE PRAYER: Lord, help me to know and trust that You are who You say You are. Amen.
* Who are you? What are the first three quick answers that spring to mind?
* Which name or title of Jesus is closest to your heart, and why?
* Why does it matter who Jesus is?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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