Summary: The most important question is: "Who do you say Jesus Christ is?" Our answer determines everything else about the rest of our lives and about our eternity.
Today we launch into a 7 week series that looks at 7 essential questions that answer the bigger question of what it means to be a follower of Christ Jesus and WHY a person would want to be a follower of Jesus.
There are good reasons that people come to faith in Christ, and there are good reasons why people continue to follow Jesus their whole lives.
Who would like to stand and briefly share, in just a sentence, why you follow Jesus?
So we follow Jesus on purpose, for good reasons. And the longer we follow Him, the more we have to testify about His goodness and faithfulness.
For this 7-week series that will lead right into Easter sunday or Resurrection Sunday, I thought it would be valuable to us to explore together some truly vital questions, and the implications of the answers to those questions.
Let’s plunge in: If I was to ask you about your identity, what would I really be getting at? I’d want to know how you see yourself. I’d want to know about your values, what makes you tick. Identity is huge. It is so incredibly important for us to understand who we are, if we’re adults. For youth, it can be a real struggle to figure out who they are apart from their parents.
Something goes wrong if we don’t do the hard work of figuring out who we are. Learning what matters to us, learning to accept who we are, learning our strengths and weaknesses and blind spots is critical to becoming a strong, emotionally healthy, humble and grateful person.
So identity...yours and mine is critical. All-round, it’s something worthwhile giving our attention to. It’s also worth giving our attention to, or occasionally rediscovering, who God is. Jesus gives us unique and wonderful insights into the identity of God. Jesus showed us that God is Abba, or Father.
Jesus showed us that God truly cares about all that He has created. Jesus showed us that God is concerned about justice and fairness.
Jesus showed us that God is not at all removed from His creation, but that He is intimately concerned about all living things, especially human beings.
But Who is Jesus? Who is the Christ? Why does He matter? Why does history seem to revolve around Him? Why does history divide at His birth between BC and AD?
Think of the year of your birth. Mine is 1962. What does that number mean? It’s the number of years from the assumed birth-year of the Saviour of the world, Jesus. Why does Jesus get to determine, get to be the way time itself is measured in years? And there’s other good questions. Why is a poor itinerant rabbi, from a backwater outpost of the ancient Roman empire in the middle East - why is He still known and worshipped all around the world today, 2000-odd years after his death?
Why do His followers still do things like run this very mission, Yonge Street Mission, that seeks to tranform people and communities with the love of God and the knowledge of Jesus Christ?
And why do so many today claim to have been changed by Him. Why do so many live better lives today than they would have without Him, because of Him?