Who Do You Say I Am?
Swaying and coddling her baby back and forth in the pew the young mother suddenly became motionless. Movie viewers struggled to read the main movie characters bewildered face and the room fell silent as they waited for the answer. Even children present quieted as they heard shouting from the movie screen grabbing their attention. You could have heard a pin drop in the sanctuary as the movie “God is Not Dead II” court room scene played out that evening in our church. An attorney threw out another shouting blow at his witness, requesting her to answer again, “When you said Jesus spoke to you personally, what did he ask you?” She shook as a look of dread came over her face. The attorney again, more forcefully, demanded an answer. As her lips quivered, she flinched and said, “Who do you say that I am.” And your answer? “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” answered the witness.
Wow, one of the great questions of the bible that I had not given much thought to in years just played out in this movie. It hit me like a brick. It stirred up so much in me, so many emotions that tears whelmed and fell. I imagined this question to be the one asked of us come Judgment day. I myself needed to be able to answer this question boldly, with no hesitation; as if I’ve known the answer forever to get it right.
In Mark 8:27-29, Jesus knowing his arrest and crucifixion was right around the corner; he asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” The disciples gave many answers, after all they had heard him teach, seen all his miracles and were filled with awe and wonder for Jesus, but yet didn’t give Jesus the answer he needed. He then directed his question to Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” answered Peter.
Peter, just like the witness, got it right, didn’t they? Did you know that there are still many people today who don’t know who Jesus is? If you ask, they might say, “He was a great teacher.” Or some might say, “He was a great religious leader.” They might answer as if Jesus was a figure from the past, not the present. They don’t know what Peter knew. They didn’t know what you and I know. They don’t know that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. Peter lived closely with Jesus, day in and day out; he knew who Jesus was. In essence Jesus was saying, “Look at me” – now define me and give me identity.
If handed a microphone in a public place right now what would you say? We have to carefully consider how we reply because this is the ultimate question of life, not to mention where we will spend eternity. We have to be willing to make our confession a public one just like Peter did. Do you feel God is calling you to serve him in this church; like the volunteers who make movie night possible for believers and those struggling to believe? What if this simple movie night is the only Jesus that someone else ever sees?
We believe that when we turn our lives over to you, your light shines through us in ways we can’t even imagine. May your story be told and retold through us that others who long for you may meet you again, or for the first time. Show us that our belief must match our behavior, because people just won’t believe what we say unless it matches what we do. Forgive us for all the times our walk does not match our talk. The lost world’s greatest need is for Jesus’ followers to both know who he really is and demonstrate it in their lives! Jesus, by your Grace I am able to answer this core question. Let us say you are the Savior, whose death brought life for us all. Amen.
Submitted by Evelyn Veltkamp Slater