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Luke Study #86 – Who Do You Say That I Am?

The Gospel Of Luke

Luke 9:18-21 (CEV)

18 When Jesus was alone praying, his disciples came to him, and he asked them, “What do people say about me?”

19 They answered, “Some say that you are John the Baptist or Elijah or a prophet from long ago who has come back to life.”

20 Jesus then asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah sent from God.”

21 Jesus strictly warned his disciples not to tell anyone about this.

Who Do You Say That I Am?

If you were to place yourself into this scene how would you answer the questions Jesus poses here?

“What do people say about me (Jesus)?”

What do the people around you say about Jesus? What do you hear from preachers or books or Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or??? If you asked someone at work how would they answer this? If you asked someone in your family, how would they answer this?

“But who do you say I (Jesus) am?”

How would you answer that? Sunday school answers that come to mind include “the Messiah sent from God” (Peter’s answer) as well as “God’s son” or “God in flesh” or “love embodied”.

But I think Jesus is asking a question that demands an answer deeper than a Sunday School regurgitation. I think that Jesus asks the question because if we say that we want to follow Jesus – to try to model our life off of his, to do what he calls us to do and live life the way he calls us to live – then we’d probably be wise to make sure we know who it is that we’re following, right?

And I think that sometimes we want to be lazy about this. We want to simply accept the answers that are spoon fed to us from the front on a Sunday, or the ones we might here at Alpha on a Thursday, or the ones that we hear repeated on blogs or in books that we follow or read.

But I don’t think that’s actually good enough.

I think if our goal is to live the kind of life Jesus died to make possible, then we have to know who Jesus is in the deepest part of our being.

I think if our goal is to live a life of love – one that participates in breaking in with the Kingdom more and more each day in the world in which we live – than we’re going to need to act out of a deep knowledge of who Jesus is.

Which means we need to get to know him well. We need more than just a title or a label or a box to put Jesus in. We need to know the love that roots everything about who he is and what he says and how he acts. We need to know the depth of value he places on relationship with the Father and with the disciples and each person he meets as he walks around Judea and Samaria and Galilee. We need to know the deep sadness and anger that he feels when religion becomes a barrier to people connecting with God instead of a vehicle to make it easier for people to connect with God.

In other words, if we want to follow Jesus, we have to start by knowing who he is.

So, “who do you say that I (Jesus) am?”Journal Questions:

  1. “What do people say about me (Jesus)?”
  2. “But who do you say I (Jesus) am?”
  3. Where would you go to find out more about who Jesus is?
  4. How will you decide which ideas to accept as truth and which ones to reject when you find contradictions?
  5. How will you test your hypothesis?
  6. Based on your actions currently, who do you act as though you believe Jesus is?
  7. What would it look like to act in accordance with who you say Jesus is? Would anything change?

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