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"Who do YOU say that I am?" | Jesus asks

Questions from Jesus and Statements from the faithful

Season 11, episode 212
20 min / Published

“Who do YOU say that I am?” Jesus asks this powerful question to His disciples in Matthew 16. It is the most important question any of us is called to answer - and make no mistake. We are all to answer it. 

The question unpacks a lot about who we are, and how we define our lives. We do not get to tell Jesus who He is -only acknowledge it. But He defines us. That is true freedom. 

Stephanie shares, "He doesn’t need to know who he is to you. And he surely doesn’t need us to tell him who he is. So, How do you feel, knowing he is actively seeking out your very own personal answer? Does it feel like it’s a quiz? Is this a test of your theology? Is this a test of your bible knowledge or your relationship with Him? Is this a test you may fail? Or could it be more like an invitation to unearth one of the most meaningful treasures in the world?"

Jesus told a parable one day. Matthew records it just a few paragraphs before this question, in chapter 13. Here is what Jesus says. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Our understanding of Jesus’ identity is like that treasure. It will change our lives.

Let’s go back to the context in the original text. First he asked what others were saying about him. Again, obviously he knew. He wasn’t seeking information. He was seeking relationship – as always. Being Jewish through and through, he asks questions to enter into relationship, into dialogue. Who do others say He is? The disciples can answer this one easily, there is nothing personal. And the answer is rather positive, it tells us about the people’s perception of who Jesus was at that point in his ministry. But you can quickly tell, this is not Jesus’ goal. He is only getting started. Then he asks the real question – the other one was just a primer. Who do YOU say that I am? Now that is completely different. Now they are in the spotlight. Now it’s their turn.

Who we understand Jesus to be, determines who we are. Please hear this. Knowing who Jesus is, will determine the course of your life on earth, in heaven, and every moment spent here and there. Knowing who Jesus is tells you who you are. Jesus’ identity defines your identity – and this cannot be said of any one else. He alone claims this level of power, authority, and utter allegiance.

Who your kids are doesn’t determine who you are. Who your parents or husband or best friend is, doesn’t determine who you are. Your enemies or your friends or your colleagues or your neighbors or your boss don’t define you.

Jesus defines you.

Where you were born, where you live, your ethnicity or your nationality, your income or your health, your size or your looks – these don’t define you.

Jesus defines you.

You don’t define yourself. If you are His disciple, then you have effectively renounced the right to define yourself. It means you don’t get to choose the criteria that define you. None of the above.

Jesus defines you.

This is truly the most freeing thing anyone can tell you.

Who Jesus is defines who you are, because you are IN Christ. You cannot be apart from Him. That is the whole purpose of relationship.

If Jesus is truly the King of all kings, and the God of the universe who can hold everything you can see and touch and feel, and everything you can’t, just by the power of His word, then being defined by Him is the most glorious thing and the highest possible calling.

It is not reductive. It is enlarging. It is not confining. It is freeing. It is not limiting. It is boundless.

You are who you are, because Jesus is who He is. And who He is to you, determines who you are.

Ground yourself in Him. The greatest quest you can ever embark on is to take Him at His word when he promises to make Himself your greatest treasure and reward.

Make sure to listen to get all the treasures and nuggets of wisdom from this episode.

In this series, Stephanie takes us deep in Scripture through three powerful Greek words today. God is inviting you to capture your imagination, heart, soul and spirit through a deeper longing for Him. It is an intellectual search, a deep desire for Him, and also a need of our body. We will connect the dots and find that Jesus gives us the blueprint to answer this question the way the Father would invite us to. Let’s embrace Jesus’ invitation to ask, seek and knock – only to receive, find and have the door be opened. It is the same trio of Greek words, and it will inspire us to answer His question in the way that will bring us delight, for His glory.

We invite you to check out the first episode of each of our series, and decide which one you will want to start with.

Go to gospelspice.com for more, and go especially to gospelspice.com/podcast to enjoy our guests! Interested in our blog? Click here: gospelspice.com/blog

Identity in the battle | Ephesians

Centering on Christ | The Tabernacle experience

Shades of Red | Against human oppression

God's glory, our delight 



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