Who do you think Jesus is? Or do you KNOW? … Sunday, June 23

Magyar: Arius (Areios) (260, Líbia - 336, Kons...

Arius tried to figure out who Jesus was on his own and got it wrong. Some things never change.

Luke 9:18-24 “Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. … He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

“Who do the crowds say that I am?” The question was controversial 2,000 years ago and seems, for some anyway, to still be open-ended. Is it unanswerable? You know, for what ever else He is or isn’t there’s one thing certain. He’s still an attention getter after all this time. “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set.” 1 Peter 2:8.

I’ve heard some very interesting, and down right odd, opinions over the years. Like … A misunderstood rabbi, the Archangel Michael manifested in the flesh, a “God” who is a glorified man, a Prophet, a false prophet, just a man with God in him (thank you, Arius, for beginning an error that seems to have no end), only one manifestation of God among many, the Antichrist (go figure that one out), and just some guy. I know of one denominational group that was formed about a hundred years or so ago and the very first question that went ’round the table was “Who is Jesus?” And because they couldn’t make up their minds they split. Even John the Baptist sent a question about the identity of Jesus at one point. “Are you the Promised One or do we look for another?”

So there are lots of opinions and thoughts and discussions and arguments. But for all of this there is only one Truth. St. Thomas answered it when he said “My Lord and my God.” Jesus didn’t correct him, He blessed him. Peter answers Jesus in the above reading when he says “The Christ of God.” Jesus didn’t correct him either. So who and what is Jesus? Lord and God and Christ. And its His Body, the Church, and only His Body the Church, that has the authority, guided by the Holy Spirit, to clarify just what those words mean. For all the complications set forth by the worldly-minded the answer is no harder to understand, from the human perspective, than the catechism. Sadly, folks don’t want to hear this. What they want to hear is debate and new thoughts and contentious rantings. Which tells us what WE are, doesn’t it? We’re fallen. Being fallen, what makes anybody think they can figure out Jesus without help?

      “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself … “

We must accept Him on His terms, not ours. His ways are perfect, ours aren’t. We have to accept that His way is hard and that it will be hard for us as well. If He suffered so will we. If He carried a cross we must do the same. We have to give up our life, handing it over to Him regardless, in order to save it. We MUST be Christians. And THAT’S what WE are. Or it’s what we’re supposed to be. If we are that, if we are truly Christian, we’ll know Who He is just like Peter and Thomas. And all the ramblings of the earthy people with worldly minds who think they have a truth won’t be able to shake us in our conviction, in our personal knowledge. I say personal knowledge because when we REALLY know Him we’ll really KNOW Who He is. No debate.

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3 Comments

  1. Amen

  2. I love this post. I think what hit me was, “We must accept Him on His terms, not ours.” At times that is not the easiest thing to do. It is easy enough when life is “smooth sailing,” but when the winds come up and blow our “boat” this way and that, how afraid and untrusting we become at times. Again I loved it and thanks so much for sharing. God Bless, SR

    • Yes, accepting Him on His terms can be hard. Like carrying crosses. That’s fine, so long as they’re light ones that don’t weigh me down. *sigh* It really is “live and learn” isn’t it? Over, and over and over, and over, and … 😉


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