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?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16: 13-16
Imagine. Jesus is sitting with His disciples when He asks a question. What are people saying about me? A lot, it turns out. Some said Jesus was really John the Baptist while others argued that He was just one of the many other famous prophets. Jesus looks around the room. “But, what about you? Who do you say I am?”
Each year, our church hears testimonies from those who will join our leadership team. Each person shares how they came to know Christ personally. Each person answers the same question Christ asked the disciples: “Who do you say I am?” Time and time again, in reflecting back on their faith journey, strong men who do this tear up. It’s the inexpressible joy of remembering that God saved me. As much as they wanted to run from God, do things their own way – God saved them.
Many have glimpsed part of the picture in regard to what Jesus did – Jesus came preaching and performing miracles, ultimately dying on the cross for our sins. Three days later He rose from the dead. But, what does that mean to you personally? It means being made right with God. It means freedom from trying to be good enough in God’s eyes. It means a life transformation. Jesus transforms us into new creations, ones not burdened by our past, our failures, our regrets. He transforms us from sinner to saint—not by anything that we do, but by what Jesus has done on the cross.
Now, you might think this is an odd topic for the last day of the year, but it is actually the most important topic of our lives. We’re getting ready to start a brand new year. So, what about you? Are you confident you have accepted in faith the full picture of the person of Jesus Christ? Or are you still listening to the rumors of culture? Pick up a Bible and read through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. One day, we will all be asked the same question: “And what about you? Who do you say I am?” I hope your answer is like the disciple Peter who said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”