Bible Reference: Mark 8:27–30
Who is Jesus? Who do people today think that Jesus is? If you asked your friends, you might get many different answers to this question. Some might say that Jesus was a nice man, while others might claim He was a good teacher. Some might say He was the founder of a religion, while others might claim He came to destroy religion. Some might say that Jesus is a fairy tale figure, while others might say He was a political revolutionary. So many opinions—it’s hard to sort through all these ideas.
There was some confusion back in Jesus’ day about who He was as well. Some people thought He was John the Baptist. Some people thought He was the prophet Elijah. Some people thought Jesus was another one of the many prophets of God. They couldn’t come to an agreement about who Jesus was.
Jesus asks His disciples “Who do you say I am?” Their response? “You are the Christ.” Not John. Not Elijah. Not one of the prophets. Jesus is the Christ. But what did they mean by that? It helps to understand what the word meant to Jesus’ disciples at that time. In one sense, “Christ” meant “the Anointed One.” The “Anointed One” was one who was anointed by God through the Holy Spirit to lead God’s people. Jesus’ disciples were saying that they believed that Jesus was anointed by God’s Spirit to lead God’s people. The word “Christ” could also be understood as “Messiah.” Many people in Jesus’ day were hoping and waiting to see God send a Messiah, a leader who rescued God’s people from their enemies. Jesus’ disciples were saying they believed God had sent Jesus to save them from their enemies. For many, the enemy they hated the most was the Romans. There was hope, even among Jesus’ disciples, that He had come to drive out the Romans. For others, the enemies they hated the most were the religious leaders of the Jews. They were hoping the Messiah would drive out these leaders and replace them with righteous and just leadership. It’s clear that Jesus’ disciples didn’t completely understand who He was and what He came to do, even after He rose from the dead.
This song refers to these many questions about Jesus. Was He a teacher? A preacher? A rebel? A prophet? A healer? A king? The chorus answers these questions by calling Jesus the “Son of God” and speaking of His mission: to give us life. Jesus’ words shine light into our darkness. Though we are lost, blind and dead in sin, Jesus comes to us, reclaiming us as His own, forgiving us and giving us His new life. He’s working to change us.
Who do you think Jesus is? It’s important to think about that question. I hope that you, too, can confess: Jesus, You are my teacher, my preacher, my prophet, my healer, my king.
PRAYER: Jesus, reveal Yourself to me. Help me to know who You are and what You’ve come to do in my life and in the world. In Your name, Amen.