Matthew 16:13 When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?” (The Message Bible)
The Son of Man is an interesting way that Jesus refers to himself which has Old Testament connections. At the end of this story “He swore the disciples to secrecy. He made them promise they would tell no one that he was the Messiah” (verse 20) so we know it refers to Jesus himself. Still today people have lots of ideas about who Jesus is. Near Christmas and Easter the newsmagazines like to run stories on the latest academic ideas about Jesus. The History Channel on TV often does series on this as does PBS from time to time. One article in Wikipedia lists 14 other gospels which were not included in the bible so people have been talking about who Jesus was in various ways right from the beginning. We have access to more information in general, and more opinions about Jesus specifically, than any generation in history. Movies, books and TV take on his story and give it the individual perspective of the writers/directors/producers. With so much data and information and images available, how do you choose which is best? Jesus goes on to ask the disciples “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” (verse 15). The answer to this question has to include the head- it has to make sense- but it is also a response from the heart. There is more to confronting Jesus than just evaluating facts. The person we meet in the Bible and the church and those who believe in him confronts us with something that demands a response from our entire person- head, heart and hands. In your world “What are people saying about who [Jesus] is?” “And how about you? Who do you say [he is]?” Some questions just never go away. How will you answer these this week?