Summary: It is one thing to know who Jesus is . . . it is another to become His follower.
The Quiz We Must Pass
©Copyright March 14, 2010 by Rev. Bruce Goettsche SERIES: Walking with Jesus
It is a dreaded part of any school year: exam time. Every student has at one time or another believed that life would be better if we could just eliminate quizzes, exams, papers and projects. In fact one of the ways teachers motivate students during the year is by telling them that if they achieve a particularly grade point average they can skip the final exam.
Deep down inside of us we know that tests are necessary in order to measure progress. From exams a teacher can determine whether or not students understand the material. Sometimes teaching methods need to be adjusted.
As a student there was a part of me that viewed tests as a way to show what I had learned. Sometimes there was more to show than others.
As we turn to Luke 9:18-25 it is “pop quiz” day. We are told Jesus was praying and following His time of prayer he asked his disciples “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Jesus was not trying to track his popularity. He was setting the stage for the very important follow up question. The answer to that question would determine whether or not they were ready to move forward in their training.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus asked the disciples this question: “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
People understood that there was something different and even prophetic about Jesus. They recognized that He was a man who spoke from God. They might not have known who He was but they knew He was someone unique and special.
If the first question on this quiz was worth 10 points, the next question was worth 90, “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” We can read every book written about Jesus; we can memorize everything He said; we can acknowledge that He is the most esteemed man who ever walked the earth and we can appear to be a very competent and spiritual person. However, the only question that will matter will be “Who do you say Jesus is?” The most important question is your view of Christ. Is He a wise teacher, a worthy example, a spiritual leader, or is He the Son of God and the Savior who gave His life as a payment for your sin?
Peter was the first to raise his hand. Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” It was the right answer. The word Christ means Messiah or Promised One. Peter testified that Jesus is the One to whom the Old Testament was pointing. Jesus is the very One for whom Israel had been waiting.
Peter had the right answer so we are surprised to read, “Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone”. (v. 21) This wasn’t like a teacher telling students not to tell other classes about the test, giving them an unfair advantage. Peter technically had the right answer, but he really didn’t understand what that answer meant.