Who do you say that I am?

Jesus was alone praying one day when His disciples joined Him. Then Jesus asked them “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah;
and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”
Luke 9:19-20 (NKJV)

Isn’t it amazing that even after seeing so many miracles and signs from Jesus, there were people who still didn’t believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be, the Christ of Scripture, the Son of God and Savior of the world. But Peter knew the claims that Jesus had made about himself and believed in his heart that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah.

Here are some of the claims Jesus made about Himself:

  • The good shepherd who gives His life for His sheep. (John 10:11) He implied that the world was lost, that He wasn’t, and that He could seek and save it.
  • The light of the world that brings life (John 8:12). He implied that everyone else was stumbling around in the dark.
  • The bread of life that will feed all who come to Him, and they shall never hunger (John 6:35). He implied that everyone else was hungry for the food that only He could give them.
  • The door to salvation (John 10:9).
  • The resurrection and the life (John 11:25) who provides life to all who believe in Him, even if they die.
  • Giver of living water (John 4:10 and 6:35). Everybody else was thirsty but He could give them living water so they would never thirst again.
  • Forgiver of sins (Mark 2:5-7 and Luke 7:48-49). Everybody else was sinful but He could forgive their sins. He claimed to have the authority to forgive those who repent and judge those who won’t.

Jesus used a metaphor of a shepherd and a sheep gate to make the point that He’s the only way to salvation.

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture“.
John 10:7-9

In case that wasn’t clear enough, the Lord made this exclusive claim about Himself:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me“.
John 14:6

This doesn’t leave any wiggle room for any other way to salvation, does it? So, what shall we make of His claims? One thing we can’t do (though many people try to), is to ignore them. We can’t pretend that Jesus was just a good teacher of ethics and morality. We can’t pretend that He was just a good man.

C.S. Lewis put it this way:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

I choose to take Jesus at His word. How about you?

I first professed my belief in Jesus as the Son of God and accepted Him as my Savior more than 40 years ago. Since that day, I’ve never doubted that Jesus is who He claims to be. However, that belief didn’t keep me from living my life on my own terms for several years, which resulted in repeating the same sins over and over. In 2013, I became determined to make Jesus the Lord of my life. It was then that the Holy Spirit gave me an insatiable appetite for God’s word. As I turned more and more of my life over to Jesus and cooperated with the Holy Spirit, He has helped me break free of the sins that once enslaved me. Since then, I’ve been strongly compelled to share God’s word and to warn others that we need to get ready because Jesus is coming soon.

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