Thursday, March 1, 2012

I want to know what you say!




Scripture

Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?”
(Mark 8:27 NASB)
And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
(Mark 8:29 NASB)

Observation

The disciples had now been traveling with Jesus for quite a period of time. They had seen the miracles and had listened to his teaching day in and day out. They had opportunity to know Jesus more intimately than anyone else in the whole world. Therefore Jesus would use them as a sounding board. He asked them, "Who do others day that I am?" In other words, as we work together day by day ministering to this world of ours, do you think people are getting it? Do they truly understand who I am? That was okay to ask, but then he got personal. But you -- the ones who hang out with me day in and day out -- do you know who I am? And maybe you know who I am in your hearts -- but can you even confess it? Who do you SAY that I am? It would take a lot of nerve to share that with the world! But Peter blurts it out and is willing to confess what he knows in his heart to be true about Jesus.

Application

There are times in our lives when we may catch ourselves trying to be people pleasers. What do people want me to say? It's a normal human response of wanting to be accepted. This was no different for the disciples, for they too, wanted to be accepted. It was exciting traveling around with Jesus and having crowds of thousands following them, and watching Jesus do great miracles. He was the Rock Star of his day as people would travel from miles and miles to come and see him. That was okay as long as he was popular and the people were happy to have a good prophet who provided preaching and entertainment! That's why Jesus asked what other people were saying about him. However, he wanted to know whether the disciples had seen beyond the excitement of the days and whether they were truly understanding his message and knowing who he was, because to declare who he really was, would have been considered blasphemous.

It's easy being a part of the crowd day in and day out in the life of Christianity. It doesn't even take much to be a part of the popular Christian crowd. Last evening I saw advertised a new television show that will begin soon called GCB. Good Christian ........'s. Now, how awful is that?! Is this really how the world perceives Christianity? I'm afraid that it is because there is a popular Christian culture out there that certainly does not go out on a limb to declare the radical nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus wanted to know whether the disciples could look beyond the popular and know the truth! What about us? Can we look beyond popular Christian culture to the truth of the Messiah?

If we can look beyond the Christian culture, then the question becomes, "Who do you SAY" that he is? This isn't just about what we believe in our hearts and are willing to keep there as a secret, but rather, about what we truly believe in our hearts about him and are willing to share with the world. This is not popular Christian culture. Often to share the crucified Christ with our world is NOT popular. To believe that Jesus came to minister to the poor, the weak, the marginalized of society means that we are willing to say that we believe we are called to do the same. That's not popular Christian culture. To say that we are willing to give away most of what we have for others -- that's not popular Christian culture! Jesus didn't want to just know what others said, or what the disciples thought -- he wanted to know what they were willing to say about him. If he were to ask the same of us today -- what would we say? It's time to speak up and be counter-cultural, not just with the secular world, but with the popular Christian world as well. He wants to know what we would be willing to say!

Prayer

Lords, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you today, and everyday! Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Today, I will be willing to say that The Lord, Jesus Christ is my Father!!! He is our Savior and Our Leader!!! He is the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, and in my Heart and Soul, Jesus Christ is our one true Father and Leader! I may have got off topic and what the Scripture was really saying but I don't follow no one but My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Now a few months or even years ago, honestly, I don't really know how I would have answered or what I would have even said but now I know who He is and what an AWESOME and AMAZING God He is!

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