Summary: The conclusion of the ’Who Is Jesus?’ series, focusing on the question, "Who do YOU say that Jesus is?"
Title: Jesus Is . . .The Unavoidable Question
Series: Who Is Jesus? (Sermon # 8)
Text: Matt 16:13-17
Date Preached: April 20, 2008
COPYRIGHT © Joe La Rue, 2008
A. Eight weeks ago we began a series of teaching that we called ‘Who Is Jesus’ by discussing Matt 16:13-17, in which Jesus asks His followers two questions: (1) Who do people say that I am?; and, (2) Who do you say that I am? As we bring this study to a close this morning, we are going to return to that passage of Scripture. Open your Bibles to Matthew 16:13-17. Look at it with me. Matt 16:13-17. The Bible says,
“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 Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.’” (Matt 16:13-17, NIV).
B. Eight weeks ago we focused primarily upon the first question that Jesus asked, ‘Who do people say that I am?” Today, we shall focus on the second question: ‘Who do you say that I am?’ That is the question that really matters for each one of us this morning. Who do we say that Jesus is? This is the unavoidable question. Once you’ve been asked it, you must answer it. As we’ve seen in this study, Jesus claimed to be God in human flesh, and claimed the right to be our King. And he claimed to be the only way that we can be made right with God. He claimed to be the one who would die for our sins, and He said, “No one can come to God except through Me.” That means that if Jesus was right, the only way to get access to God and to God’s heaven is to go through Jesus by accepting Him as Savior. And the rest of the Bible says the same things about Him.
1. And this is what makes this question, ‘Who do you say that Jesus is?’, so important, and so unavoidable. If Jesus really is who He claimed to be—if He really is the only way that we can be made right with God, and the one who is our Lord—then accepting Him as Savior and Lord is pretty important, don’t you think? In fact, I would even go so far as to say that if Jesus really is who He claimed to be, this question is the most important question by far that you will ever be asked.
2. And you cannot avoid this question. Either we accept Him for who He claimed to be, or we don’t. There is no middle ground. Either we accept Him as our Savior and Lord, or we reject Him.
C. Look at Peter’s answer. Verse 16, “Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” That word, ‘Christ,’ is a Greek translation of the Hebrew word, ‘Messiah.’ Both words mean “the Anointed One.” Back in those days, when a new King was installed, he was anointed with oil as a sign that he was being set apart for his new role in society. And so the Jewish people came to understand that the Messiah, ‘the Anointed One,’ would be an eternal King, who would save his people, and whose reign would have no end. The Messiah was also referred to in the Old Testament as ‘the Son of God,’ and so that too came to be associated with the title.
1. So, when Peter proclaimed Jesus ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ he was saying that he believed that Jesus was the Anointed One, sent by God, to reign over His people forever and save them.
2. In other words, Peter was proclaiming Jesus his Savior and Lord. Now, look at verse 17—“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.’” In other words, ‘That’s the right answer, Peter.’
D. Trans: This brings us to a very important question: Is Jesus your Savior, too?
I. Do You Say That Jesus Is Your Savior?
A. This is the foundational question upon which everything else builds. We have seen that the Bible says that every one sins. Everyone in this room today has sinned and does sin; that is, everyone here does things that are wrong in God’s sight.
1. The Bible says in Romans chapter 3, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23, NASB). And in 1 John chapter 1, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. . . . If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, 10, NASB).