Summary: Part 1 of a 4 Part Series This sermon asks the question who is Jesus? It seems like an easy question to answer but the answer really comes not with our words but with the way we live our lives.
When was the last time you took some time out to play the age-old children’s game, “Who am I? Well, after the sermon this morning you will be able to tell all of your friends that you last played it at church during the worship service.
That is how we are going to start out this morning, with a few rounds of “Who Am I?” The only rule of the game that is a bit different is, you have to wait until I completely finish the clue so that everyone will have a chance to say the answer at the same time.
Who am I? I am a cartoon character created during the 1900’s. My first movie took place on a steamboat. Since that I time I have entertained thousands, young and old alike in the movies, on television, in books and comic books, and even in theme parks. I was created by that genius of children’s animation, the late Walt Disney. Who am I?
That’s right, Mickey Mouse is the answer. That one was really easy. This next one is a little bit more difficult. See if you can figure out who it is?
Who am I? I was born in the late 1700’s. As an adult I was a congressman from Tennessee and served as the state’s governor. Later I loved with the Cherokee Indians who gave me two names. The first was “The Big Drunk” and the second was “Coloneh” or “The Raven.” After a particularly difficult period of my life, I moved from New Orleans to Texas where I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, a requirement for anyone living in Texas in those days. I fought during the Texas war for independence from Mexico. After the war, I became the first president of the Republic of Texas. After Texas became a state I was elected to congress and governor, making me the only person ever to be elected governor of two states. Who am I?
Sam Houston is the answer, now that one wasn’t too difficult. This next one is probably the hardest of all.
I was born in the early 1800’s and experienced the dawn of the 1900’s. As a young child, during an illness, I ran a very high fever. A doctor placed a mustard poultice over my eyes in an effort to help break the fever. While the treatment did seem to end the fever, it left me totally blind for the rest of my life. During my life, I was not bitter about my blindness and I never saw it as a handicap but rather as an enhancement to my faith. Though physically blind it was as though I could see God much more clearly than many sighted people. During my adult life, I shared my faith with many people through the writing of hymns. In fact the lyrics I wrote have allowed me to share my faith with many people through the twentieth century and now beyond though I have been dead for some fifty years. My work includes some of the favorite hymns of the church like “To God be the Glory,” “Blessed Assurance,” “Praise Him, Praise Him,” “and Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross.” Who am I?
Does anyone know? The answer is Fanny Crosby. We have two more but they are much easier.
I lived during the lifetime of Jesus. It was a privilege to be called one of his disciples, though I know I was far from deserving such an honor. During m time with Jesus I walked on the water. But I was not all I should have been. While walking on the water, my faith wavered and Jesus saved me. In this morning’s lesson, I gave the answer to who Jesus was. After Jesus’ arrest, I denied that I even knew Jesus. I am almost ashamed to ask this but, Who am I?
That one was easy to answer, Simon Peter. This last one is also very easy. See if you can figure it out.
I was born in a stable. I was the son of a carpenter. I lived only 33 years here on earth. I was crucified and on the third day I rose from the dead. Many people then didn’t believe in me. Others didn’t know who I was or what I was here for. Some did, however, and they shared my message with all the world. Throughout the centuries many people have believed in me. Many people have answered the question who am I, starting with Simon Peter. Throughout the ages, even today, people have said they know who I am, but they don’t live their lives like they know who I am. Do you? Who am I?
The historical answer to that question is an easy one. Of course it is Jesus. When Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter said he was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, and then turned around and fussed at Jesus because Jesus’ idea of a Messiah and Peter’s idea were very different.