When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” John 16:13-16 (MSG)
The other night in a book club we looked at this verse. The answer to who do people say Jesus is can be as varied as the number of people you ask. In our society, it is sometimes thought of as politically incorrect to even ask. And we tread so lightly around this topic that we don't really even think about it for ourselves.
As the conversation in the group turned to the next question Jesus asked “How about you? Who do you say I am?” we each shared who he was to us. Some of the answers were:
He gave me purpose
My Best Friend
He shows me who I am and who I want to be
He gave me fulfillment and purpose
My Dream Maker
He is what I need
For every one of us, the answer is different. And for each of us individually, the answer varies at different times. One day I may recognize him as my Provider. The next day I may recognize him as my Dream Maker. Heck, even in the next moment I could recognize him as my Friend.
God is so multi-faceted. In the Bible, he showed up in novel ways to each person that encountered him. He is not a cookie-cutter God. For each and every one of us he will be something personal. He will show up how we need it, when we need it at exactly the right time. I praise Him for that! If he didn’t, the walk wouldn’t be so exciting.
How about you? Who do you say Jesus is? Make it personal.