Jesus asks every person this question: but who do you say I am?
A myriad of opinions exist in the world about the nature of Jesus. Was he a teacher? A good person? A lying rebel? A prophet?
In Matthew 16, Simon Peter answers this question to Jesus's satisfaction: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. What an answer! It’s uncertain whether Peter really knew the gravity of that answer. If Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, then he envelopes all of perceivable reality. It demands an ordering of the world toward which we do not naturally incline.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. It’s a profound truth that escapes many of us. The dynamic of how God relates to people is revealed in this statement. God enables people to exercise free will - meaning, the ordering of intent, planning of his way - but God is the one who ultimately gets to decide on the outcome. Does God control man’s mind or will? No. But does he get the final say on where man gets to go? Yes.
We would be wise to heed what Jesus says. It is possible that he was a crazy man who made up words about who he is. In which case, we can simply ignore his claims and go on with our day, clinging to some other worldview that helps us form our plans. But if Jesus’s words are true, well, it is a fearful reality for anyone who ignores him.
“To the one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23) We live in a broken world in which we must search for and pursue the ideal. No one is really completely satisfied or secure in a fixed and permanent manner. There is always something, or at worst, death, that looms over us all.
If Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God, then in him lies the salvation we are all longing for. If we are wise, we will at the very least look very carefully and openly into who Jesus is. What he offers possesses an impact of such value that is worth the sacrifice of all that we possess. And if it’s true, then we have found the ideal we have been searching for.
For those who have already professed faith in Christ, we must come back to the recognition of Jesus’s position in the universe. Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:3) What a reality! What Jesus says goes, and nothing is impossible. If all of this is true, what might be the appropriate attitude of the believer when he or she wakes in the morning?
Who do you say that I am? Jesus asks us each moment of our lives. He desires that we know who he is so that we can order our way rightly. When our plans are aligned with his, it will be he, the Lord of the universe, who establishes our steps.
Come to Jesus, the Son of the living God, with open and empty hands. Ask him for his opinions and desires for your life. He who holds the universe will hold your life safe and secure - for his glory and for your good.