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Un-blind Us, Lord!
by Pastor Jeff Morlock
Just prior to announcing his impending suffering and death (Mark 8:31) Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” It’s a polling question of sorts. And what they’re saying sounds close to what we might hear if we asked the same question on a busy street in downtown Columbus today. “Jesus was a great teacher, a prophet.” The major world religions all feel compelled to address the question of Jesus’ identity, and most answer it the way the disciples and crowds did. Jesus is a great teachers who showed us that love is what the world needs, and what God expects of us.
But do we really need a great teacher to tell us that love is good and right? Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, our guilt and shame has told us all we need to know about what God desires. We simply can’t do it. At least not consistently. Not unfailingly. We don’t need a teacher. We need something more. Something that Jesus’ next question points to.
“Who do you say I am?” he asks. In Exodus 3:14-15, when Moses asked the Lord his name, Yahweh said, “I am who I am.” And by asking his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Jesus is giving them an obvious clue to his identity. A clue that even Peter, who so often got it wrong, couldn’t miss.“You are the Messiah,” he confessed. The Christ. The anointed one spoken of by the prophets. The Deliverer. Humanity’s true and deepest need is not for a teacher to tell us what is good, nor for a life coach who will help us navigate tough times and inspire us to achieve our goals. We need a Messiah to live the perfect life of love that we cannot live. We need a Messiah to die for us that we might be forgiven, and rise again to give us new life. And that is exactly who Jesus is. Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, we are often blind to our real need, and therefore unclear about who you are for us. Would you open our eyes? Would you un-blind us and empower us by your Holy Spirit to die to our old selfish nature so that we are free to love others as you have first loved us? Amen.
Spoken Prayer - Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.