A Piercing Question
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Piercing questions - Jesus was the master of them.
Jesus did not need to use questions to gain knowledge or insight for Himself.
He did not seek answers to things He did not already know.
I find it fascinating that The One Who holds all the mysteries of heaven and earth in His hands often used questions in His dialogue with people.
In today’s reading, Jesus begins a dialogue with His disciples:
“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
Did Jesus really need to ask them what other people were saying about Him? Didn’t He already know? And if He already knew the answer, why did He ask them this question?
Perhaps it caused the disciples to reflect upon what people were saying about Jesus. Maybe it drew them into considering what the popular opinion was about who Jesus was and what He was all about.
It was easy for them to respond about what OTHERS believed about Jesus. Maybe the disciples found themselves trying to decide which camp of belief they were aligned with concerning Jesus.
"They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or a prophet.'”
The consensus about who Jesus truly was, granted Him a level of respect and honor. Each of these men - John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah and other prophets - were true followers of God. They were God's messengers and significant spiritual leaders. They challenged peoples thinking and led people closer to God.
If Jesus were standing right in front of me today, how might I answer this question?
Maybe people think Jesus was a good teacher, a moral man, a good example for us to follow. They may agree that He was truly wise. Others might think Jesus was no different than other spiritual guru or inspirational leader.
Each of these responses severely limits and underestimates the person of Jesus Christ.
Where in my heart am I underestimating who Jesus is? Where do I restrict Him to the limits of my own insights and understanding? When I worry, isn’t it because I really don’t think God can handle my situation? Am I tempted to think of my Christian walk as only a set of rules to follow or rely upon my own ability to find meaning in life?
Where am putting Jesus in a box of my design?
Jesus turns up the stakes and asks the most piercing question:
“But what about you? Who do you say I am?”
Why is this such an important question? Because the answer changes EVERYTHING!
Peter blurts out:
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus exclaims,
“This was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 also says:
"However, as it is written: 'What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him — these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.'”
What human being would ever conceive such a plan? Jesus - the Word made flesh, the Son of the LIVING God - was God Himself. This all powerful, transcendent, holy and immeasurable God reduced Himself to becoming a tiny, vulnerable infant. He chose to walk among us on this small, insignificant planet. He allowed Himself to be unjustly accused, torment and cruelty crucified. For what purpose? To rescue sinners - those who have abandoned Him, denied Him, and spit in His face. He came as Messiah and Lord to take upon Himself the darkness of sin and shame so those who trust in Him would be covered with His brilliant righteousness.
Jesus is asking each of us this piercing question - “But what about you? Who do you say I am?”
As the Holy Spirit reveals the depths of our hearts today, ask this: Where can I allow Him to lead me to know and trust Jesus as Messiah and the Son of the Living God more deeply. How will the conviction that Jesus is TRULY my Messiah and LORD change how I think, feel, act, and live today?
Use the words of this song to bring your heart in prayer to God today. Thank You Jesus, that YOU ARE my Messiah and the Son of the LIVING God.
King of the World - Nathalie Grant