Summary: If you want to truly live, then acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ headed for the cross and follow Him anyway even if it might cost you everything.
City Slickers is a movie that describes the adventures of three friends having mid-life crises. They escape the city and head west for a two-week cattle run to discover what's important in life.
Before they leave, Mitch (played by Billy Crystal) shares what he does for a living at Dad's Day at his son's school. Instead of talking about his work as a salesman, Mitch bewilders the third graders with a monologue about how bleak their future is. He says:
“Value this time in your life, kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so quickly. When you're a teenager, you think you can do anything, and you do.
“Your 20s are a blur.
“Your 30s, you raise your family, you make a little money, and you think to yourself, What happened to my 30s?
“Your 40s, you grow a little pot belly. You grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud, and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother.
“Your 50s, you have a minor surgery. You'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery.
“Your 60s, you have a major surgery; the music is still loud, but it doesn't matter because you can't hear it anyway.
“70s, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale. You start eating dinner at 2:00, lunch around 10:00, breakfast the night before. And you spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate in soft yogurt and muttering, ‘How come the kids don't call?’
“By your 80s, you've had a major stroke, and you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can't stand but who you call mama.
“Any questions?” (City Slickers, Columbia Pictures, 1991, beginning at 00:16:50, www.PreachingToday.com)
Sad to say, that describes the life many people live, but is that the life you want to live? If not, then I invite you to turn with me to Mark 8, Mark 8, where Jesus tells his followers how to live a life truly worth living.
Mark 8:27-29 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” (NIV)
If we want to live a life truly worth living, then 1st of all, we must…
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST.
We must understand that Jesus is the Messiah. We must realize that Jesus is the Anointed One – the Prophet, the Priest, & the Ruler of all!
I find it very interesting that Jesus chooses Caesarea Philippi (vs.27) as the place to force the issue with His disciples. You see, Caesarea Philippi was at the foot of the magnificent Mt. Hermon, north of Israel, and the place where the residents had built a great marble temple in honor of Augustus Caesar. The city itself was named after Caesar, the ruler of the world at the time, and it was also named after Herod Philip, the governor of that entire region – hence Caesarea Philippi. It was a symbol of great political power, but Jesus wants us to know that He is greater than Herod Philip or even Caesar Himself.
Jesus is greater than any political power, and He is greater than any religious power, as well. He is greater than any prophet or priest that ever lived. You see, people in Jesus day thought He was just another prophet, perhaps Elijah or John the Baptist come back to life.
I don’t know about you, but if people said that about me, I would be very flattered. If people said, “Wow! He preaches like Elijah Himself,” I would have trouble getting my head through the door. But not Jesus! He wants us to understand that He is greater than any political power, and He is greater than any prophet or priest that ever lived.
He is the Christ! That means Jesus is the Messiah, the “Anointed One” of God. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests and kings were all anointed when they began to serve. They all had oil poured on their heads when they took office. So, in a sense, they could all be called “anointed ones.” They could all be called messiahs or christs (with a little “c”), because that’s what the word “messiah” or “christ” means. It literally means “anointed one” and speaks of one who holds a religious or political office.
But Jesus is more than any politician or prophet. He is THE Christ, THE Anointed One, THE Messiah, who would outshine them all and live and reign forever. When Peter said, “You are THE Christ,” he was saying, “You are THE Prophet” – the one who speaks the words of God. In fact, Jesus IS the Word of God Himself, according to John 1. “You are THE Priest” – Our High Priest forever who intercedes for us constantly before the throne of God (Hebrews 7). “You are THE King” – the coming glorious King, whose glory outshines even that of Caesar here in his temple at the foot of the magnificent Mt. Hermon.