Monday, May 27, 2013

Who is Jesus?


When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Matthew 16:13

Jesus asked this question for a very important reason. Jesus was not uncertain of His identity or His purpose. In fact Jesus was before anything else came to be. He wanted to make certain that those following Him knew His true identity. Many rumors were rampant during the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, and much confusion was the result.
Mark 13: 5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,” and will deceive many.

Make no mistake; Jesus wants you to know Him. He doesn't want you confused about who He is, and why a relationship with Him is critical.  In response to Jesus’ question;

Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16

Assurance of who Jesus is does not come as a result of scholarly readings or theology classes at an accredited university. In order to know Jesus, there has to be a personal relationship. There must be a connection that transcends head knowledge and dives into
the heart.
Matthew 15:8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
 I would pose the question; how can we get to know anyone without investing time with them on a consistent, personal basis? Don’t allow anyone else to define Jesus for you. Don’t allow the television or Sunday service to define Jesus for you. Get to know Him for yourself. Dive into the word of God and pray.

Many know Jesus as their savior, but few know Him as Lord. A great emphasis has been placed on Jesus as savior. This is understandable in relation to human nature, as it is a natural desire to want to be rescued. It is completely human to want to feel secure and safe. However, Jesus makes it very clear that in order to follow Him, one must totally surrender their life. This means that salvation alone is not the point. It is a selfish standpoint that proclaims, “Rescue me, save me, but I don’t have to give anything in return!” 
Looking at things in that manner makes it about us, when it should be about Christ. Living a life totally surrendered in Christ is not about what you can get from Him, but rather what you’re willing to give for Him.
Matthew 16:24 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Matthew 19:20-21 The young man said to him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

This is where many of us miss the point. Salvation is easy, comfortable, and requires little. A life of surrender is difficult, demanding, full of persecution, and trials all for His glory. It is easy to see why most would rather have Jesus as savior, and not as Lord.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Lordship implies ownership and complete rule. This is not what you will hear at your typical Sunday morning service. It is not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.
You are probably shocked and maybe a bit confused because this is not what you have been taught. When we really dive into the word of God for ourselves instead of sitting down and hearing someone else share with us their idea of the bible, we can really have a shot at the powerful and trans-formative truth that is God’s word.
Have you ever wondered why the world is so harsh towards Christians? Have you ever heard some one saying, “well so and so said they are a Christian, but they do things that a Christian shouldn't do.” This is because it so much easier to hear the word than to actually do. Jesus warned us about that. Likely, these are people who have “accepted” Christ as their Savior but have never made Him their Lord.Perhaps they were not actually saved but thought that they were. Maybe this is why some Christians are seen as hypocrites and not to be trusted. Much of our plight as Christians is due to bad teaching, though we are responsible for the good or bad decisions we make. It reflects back on our Lord because until He returns, the world sees Jesus through His followers on earth. If we represent Him in a way that is false, then we cant expect the world to take Christianity seriously. Instead, if we live out and do the word daily, Christ will be so visible that the world will not even see us. Salvation is also not about acceptance, but rather a declaration as shown in Romans 10:9. So they are not living a life of surrender at all. Salvation should be the beginning, not the end; the result, not the goal.

Look into your own heart and ask yourself do you really know who Jesus is? Is he simply a great moral character from fable, some man who did good deeds long ago, a savior who helped you avoid a fiery hell, or is He alive, present and active in your life each day as your Lord? Jesus may have died, but He rose again and is alive today! We serve the living God!

As Always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!

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Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled. ~Horace