Summary: We’ll be looking at the most important question that had ever been asked of mankind. This question causes us to look into the mirror of our understanding. My prayer is we’ll examine our life and discover every flaw or defect and fix those problems, if any exist, before it’s too late.
Who Do You Say I Am?
Scripture Reference: Matthew 16:13-16
Preached at Mount Zion Baptist Church on August 11, 2019
Delivered by Rev. John Daniel Johnson
This past week, I was standing in the bathroom, admiring myself in the mirror. I took my shirt off and started flexing to myself. I stood there looking at myself as I brushed my teeth and shaved my face. I then fixed my hair and made sure every string was in place. Before leaving I had to flex one more time. This time Jessica walked in. I asked her, “Jessica when I get old and fat will you still love me and stay with me?” She walked over to me and put her arm around me. Together we looked into the mirror. She then spoke lovely to me, “Honey you’re already there, and yes I still love you.”
This morning, we’ll be looking at the most important question that had ever been asked of mankind. This question causes us to look into the mirror of our understanding. Like me, we might not see the truth looking right back at us, however, my prayer this morning is we’ll examine our life and discover every flaw or defect and fix those problems, if any exist, before it’s too late. Let’s examine this question this morning.
There are many questions that are important in one’s life. One of the questions that have impacted my physical life almost more than any other was, “Will you marry me?” Another is, “What do we want to name her?” However, when it comes to our eternal life, Jesus posed the most crucial question ever asked to humanity. The answer to this question will affect at least three areas of your life.
First, the answer to Jesus’ question will affect how you believe. There are countless people who see Jesus as a miracle worker, or a great prophet, or as a good moral teacher. Based on a partial understanding of Jesus, countless false religious have been created, people have been led astray, and sadly many have met their doom because they did not truly know the real Jesus. That is why Jesus said…
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
Many people have a positive regard for Jesus, but they miss the mark altogether. You can speak of Jesus as a prophet, a holy man, teacher or spiritual leader, and few will object. But speak of Him as the Son of God, Savior from sin, the only way to Heaven, and multitudes of people will line up to voice their disapproval.
Secondly, the answer to the question will affect your life. Because depending on who Jesus truly is to you will determine how you love Him and how you will love those He created.
Thirdly, the answer to the question will affect your behavior. Your confidence, your potential, your morals, and your place in this world will all be affected. Your reactions to situations around you and your actions are directly affected by the way your answer this question.
All four of the Gospels either ask or seek to answer this question. Matthew, Mark and Luke all ask this question, and the entire Book of John is to answer the question.
In today’s text, Jesus is nearing the end of His earthly ministry. He turns to His disciples and asks two questions. The first question is “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16:13)
Then the disciples answer Jesus’ question and let Him know what the crowds think of Jesus. They reply…
1) Some thought Jesus was John the Baptist. John had many followers before Jesus was baptized by him. John’s message was one of repentance and preparing for the coming of the Messiah. The people knew that Herod had recently had John murdered by beheading him. Since Jesus’ preaching was similar to that of John, some that that Jesus was nothing more than a good moral preacher.
2) Some thought Jesus was Elijah. It is no secret that Jews believed that Elijah would return before the Messiah. In the Book of Malachi, Chapters 3 and 4, speak of a forerunner that will come preaching before the Messiah comes. We in the New Testament know that John the Baptist was that prophet who came and warned the people of the coming Messiah. Also we know from Revelation 11, that in the end days, that Elijah and another prophet will stand in Jerusalem and testify 3 ½ years. They will preach before the Second Coming of Jesus.