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Who Do You Say I Am?

Reflections on Jesus' titles throughout the Scriptures

Who is Jesus?

by Dr. Michael Whiting, DBU Staff

Today's Reading

Matthew 16:15

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

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

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:15

The most important question that anyone could ever ask is “Who is Jesus Christ?” In the Scriptures we learn that everything was created “by Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16). He is the arc of history’s timeline: the beginning, the in-between, and the culmination.

Before Jesus came, His broken creation was building with the expectation of His arrival.

In Jesus, the Kingdom of God came and broke into history and forever left it changed. Even now, history is moving towards its appointed end, and creation awaits the final return of the King and the perfect renewal of all things.

The driving purpose of social media is to extend yourself to the world through posts and stories to receive attention and affirmation, but the story of Jesus Christ is the story, and what gives our personal stories their ultimate meaning is how they fit into a grand narrative -written long before we were born and continuing long after we pass away - centered upon Jesus as the main character.

C.S. Lewis once said that Jesus is either “a liar, a lunatic, or He is Lord,” and how we respond to encountering Jesus will literally change the course and eternal destiny of our lives. There is no neutral encounter. There is either acceptance or rejection. As Jesus said, to receive Him is to receive the eternal Father who sent Him (Matthew 10:40).

In Jesus’ day, as He began to preach and gather increased attention, this same question was being asked. The Pharisees and Sadducees challenged this rabbi from Nazareth, demanding more signs to justify the disturbance He was causing, unable to recognize all the prophesied signs pointing to the visitation of the Holy One among them. But others saw with faith past His seemingly ordinary humanity to the Messiah for whom they had long awaited – the hope of God with Us.

This Advent season, we will be illuminating all the wonderful names and titles ascribed to Jesus throughout the Old and New Testaments, such as Son of God, the Good Shepherd, Cornerstone, Lamb of God, Last Adam, and Bread of Life. Our desire is to display the Biblical fullness of Jesus as the total and complete answer of salvation for a fallen world. He is the answer to our mortal brokenness, our shame and guilt, to our loneliness, to our fears. No other human can carry the weight of these answers. Only One, and His name is above all other names (Philippians 2: 9-11).

Jesus comes to each of us, asking “Who Do You Say I Am?” As you walk with us through this next month of Advent and consider the glory of Jesus manifested through each devotional written for you by DBU faculty and staff, reflect on your own answer to this question – but take a step further and ask whether the weight of this question is being demonstrated as a daily reality in your life. In other words, if you can say “Amen” to all these names of Jesus, then what kind of different life ought you to be living?

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