Names are given to us to provide some sort of identity. My birth name is Brenda; that is what I am called, and that is how I am known. The meaning of my name rings of no importance to me, nor do I think it could transform all of the world or make those around me respect or love me any more or less. But what if a name could do such a thing? What if someone’s name truly defined who he or she is, had the ability to alter the course of history, and just by believing in that very name, we could be saved?
Matthew 16:13-16 recounts a time when Jesus was talking to His disciples and asked them, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Their response was, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Then Jesus asked one of the most profound questions: “But who do you say that I am?”
I say that it is profound because the response that is given to His question will literally change the course of one’s life. Peter, a disciple and apostle of Jesus, responds to Him by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Two thousand plus years later Jesus is still asking us this very question. I join Him in asking you: “Who do you say that Jesus is?”
Theologian C.S Lewis put it best when he said,
“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.”
Along with answering the question of who Jesus is, answer this: "What do you call Jesus?" I was in church today, and our Pastor asked us this question. I thought about it to myself, and my answer was “Lord." I give Jesus lordship over all areas of my life. I surrender all of my desires, all of my pain, all of my everything to Him because I claim Him as Lord over all. Your answer to this will reveal how much you know Him, or perhaps, how much you don’t. If, not only with your words, but with your life, your answer professes Jesus as Christ, Son of God, then He says you are a part of His Church.
Friends, Jesus is asking you this today: Who do you say that He is?