Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Does This Jesus Mean to You?

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

~Matthew 16:15 (NIV).

Jesus keeps it patently simple.

Reflective of the Word of Truth a.k.a. the Bible, Jesus is penetrating to the heart, living and active, dividing soul and spirit.[1] Who do you say he is? This is the nitty gritty of the Christian “religion.” Throw out all your silly rule books and all your silly viewpoints. Christian faith doesn’t get any more fundamental than defining “who” exactly is this Jesus, as far as our lives are personally and interpersonally concerned.

Many millions of people claim to be “Christian” i.e. sympathisers after the Christian faith and most accordingly the Christian values, but are they followers of Jesus, the Messiah (or Christ), himself?

That and that alone is the depth of the “faith” question at heart.

There is a sharp divide between these two above—between those tacitly claiming Christianity as their preferred values system and those overtly claiming Jesus as their personal, living Saviour—the Messiah. There’s a cosmos of difference.

The most dramatic difference between Christian faith and all others is the fact that God—in Jesus—invites us into relationship with him. God is necessarily all about a personal connection; of transformation of mind, heart and ultimately life, based on his continual Presence with us. Jesus: Emmanuel—God with us!

“Who do you say I am?” It might be an interesting question. But, it’s the answer that most provokes God’s interest as he seeks us out of our spiritual hiding from him, and into his marvellous light.

We answer this question by the way we live. Our words literally mean nothing. How we describe ourselves and categorise ourselves really means nothing in comparison to how we actually live.

We could answer Jesus’ question for him—“Who do you say I am?”—very easily and most fundamentally. All we’d have to do is ask a portion of the people we regularly interact with. What would they say about us? We see here the direct relationship and influence that the person of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, has over, in and through us. It breaks us open and exposes us at the relationship level. This is where truth both matters and intercedes for us.

“But what about you?” is one of the most pertinent questions, so far as Christian faith is concerned. Regardless of what billions of others think and say about him, Jesus is most acutely interested—from your viewpoint—as to what you say regarding him.

Is he God or not?

Secondarily but poignantly, is he your (personal) God? If not, who (or what) is? We have God or we have gods.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] See Hebrews 4:12-13.

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