The Tabernacle Scroll
“Now it occurred that as Jesus was praying privately, the disciples were with him and he asked them, Who do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life. And he said to them, But who do you (yourselves) say that I am? And Peter replied, The Christ of God”. (Luke 9:18-20, Amplified).
Who do you say I am? The ‘you’ was emphatic, directed at his disciples. Jesus put two questions to them: what did the world think of him and what did the disciples think of him? To the first question, most of them replied. To the second question, Peter was the representative for them all. Luke omits Jesus’ appreciation, which we find in Matthew: “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”. This statement of Jesus is charged with emotion. For months Jesus had been seeking to help his disciples understand who he was. Now he knows that his cause is assured. Here at last was the strong conviction of earnest souls who know what they believe, and are willing to live by the truth that they have apprehended. He knows that he could rely on Peter and the others represented by his confession, to carry on his work.
Jesus’ words, “who do you say I am?” echo down through the centuries. They have been, and will ever be the means by which God will separate unto himself those that belong to Him and those that don’t – the unbelievers and professors from the believers; the religionists from those who live by faith; the ones who follow from the ones who ‘thumb a ride’.
When Jesus recruited his disciples, he simply said to them “Follow me”. And they did so, literally! Only much later did he challenge them as to who they thought he was! This was a crucial point. Their confession of him as ‘the Christ’ would be at the heart of the work they would do as his followers. It certified their ‘following’ as genuine! So it must be with us who claim to be Christians.
Too many Christians are tying to live a Christian life without letting a soul know it! One might, to be sure, make up his mind to follow Jesus, and yet not do it, just as one might decide to do anything and later change his mind. However, one must not only make up his mind to follow Jesus, but he must begin straightway to do it! Confession for the Christian begins with the mouth; but as Scripture says, “faith without action is dead”.
A mountain climber, unable to complete his ascent because of serious injury, told how he sat at camp and ‘followed the climbers all the way to the top’. He had not followed; he had only seen where they went! Are you a passive follower?
www.kerysso.org-Preach The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues