Chapter 25 of “The Story” begins with Jesus’ question to the disciples, “Who do people say I am?” This is such a great question that is asked and answered repeatedly by people from all walks of life. Society, culture, other religions and even those within the church are constantly struggling to adapt the image and message of Christ and apply it to different causes and missions. Friend, good teacher, prophet, savior, messiah, heretic, all of these terms and more have been used to define Jesus at one time or another. While this is interesting, the really amazing question is the one that follows: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
This is a section of Scripture that has been the focus of a great many books and sermons. The implications of who a person says Christ is carry over into eternity. If he is just a “good teacher,” his teaching becomes something to be consumed and later discarded when something new comes along. If he is just “a friend,” we have the ability to disregard advice and commands because we do not agree with them. But if we say Jesus is our Lord and Savior we give up the ability to disregard what he says and we surrender ourselves to his will.
I think as followers of Christ it can be very easy to struggle with this concept. Christ IS our friend, our teacher, our counselor, and so much more, but he is also our Lord and Savior. Sure, we know this is what we are to say when asked about Jesus, but it becomes so much harder to live out the “Lord and Savior” aspect of the relationship. Others seem to understand and accept the idea that Jesus is a good teacher and friend but have a hard time grasping the concept of Jesus as Lord. It requires an attitude of humility and submission, two traits that are not highly valued in today’s society.
The rest of the chapter follows the miracles and teachings of Jesus leading up to his triumphal entry into the Holy City. All of these events continually point to the authority and lordship of Jesus. Throughout the chapter Christ performs miracles and teaches, but each incident points to something more. Christ is slowly revealing his divinity. He is calling people to himself. It all becomes a picture that harkens back to the question at the beginning of the chapter.
I believe that the question of Jesus’ lordship is something we need to reflect upon regularly, if not each day. Are we submitting our will to his throughout the day? Are we allowing him to lead us in every aspect? Is he truly Lord of our lives? The struggle surfaces when we forget the lordship of Jesus, and that happens when we cease to ask ourselves his question.
When reflecting on this question another piece of scripture always comes to the forefront. In John 20:24-29, we have the resurrected Christ in a meeting with Thomas who does not believe that Christ has returned. Christ shows the wounds from the crucifixion to a Thomas who would only believe if saw these things. Thomas’ response to Jesus is how I hope I respond when reflecting on who Jesus is: “My Lord and my God!”
I believe this question, “Who do you say I am?” makes all the difference in the world. Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Do your actions, words and thoughts reflect this submission or are they just words you say? I pray that when we meditate and think deeply about this question that we would come in awe to the answer, “My Lord and my God,” and that it would ring true in every aspect of our lives.