Summary: Many question, but the truth needs to be known of "Who is Jesus."
WHO IS JESUS?
All the way through the book of Matthew these disciples have been with Jesus.
„h They have heard the Lord Jesus teach.
„h They have seen the miracles which Jesus performed. They have observed His behavior.
Now, Jesus comes to the point of asking His disciples, Who am I?
In the answer to the question of who Jesus is, everything tied together. It ties together the past and the present and the future.
If you answer that question properly you put time and eternity together. Heaven and hell are wrapped up in that question.
The answer to that question will determine where you are going to spend eternity ¡V the life after this one.
All the way up to this point in the book, Matthew has been showing us who Jesus is.
Examination time has come and Jesus carries His disciples into a place called Ceserea Philippi.
This place was known for its pagan worship ¡V the worshipping of false gods.
It was there that Jesus asked His followers "Who am I?"
The answer they give is the answer that every person must give if they are going to heaven when they die.
I. IT¡¦S A PERENNIAL QUESTION
It is the question that occurs over and over again in every age.
There is no neutrality about this question -
No avoiding this particular question.
It is the perennial question.
In fact, it seems that everybody has an opinion about Jesus.
I was reading this week about General Napoleon. He said, I know men and Jesus Christ is no mere man.
Everybody has an opinion about the Lord Jesus Christ.
They had an opinion about Jesus in His day.
So, Jesus comes to them and He says to His disciples, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"
This is indeed a very informative answer which they give.
People have many different opinions about Jesus.
A. Some Said That He Was John the Baptist.
There were some who thought he was John the Baptist because of His preaching.
John the Baptist came preaching and Jesus came preaching.
They basically came announcing the same message.
„h John came preaching, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
„h Jesus came preaching, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
John the Baptist was a great preacher, but he was not a preacher like the Lord Jesus Christ.
No one could preach like Jesus.
John 7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
Every time Jesus stood to preach He not only spoke the Word of God, He was himself the living Word of God.
What a preacher the Lord Jesus Christ.
There was a remarkable difference between John the Baptist preaching and Jesus.
„h John pointed men to the Lamb of God.
„h Jesus personified the Lamb of God.
- John said the Lamb is coming.
- Jesus said I am the Lamb.
But Some thought he was John the Baptist because of his preaching.
B. Some Said that He Was Elijah.
Some thought He was Elijah because of the great man of prayer that Elijah was.
Have you ever read what the Bible says about the prayer life of Elijah?
Here was a man who had so much power in prayer that he could:
„h Pray and ask God to send rain and God would.
„h Pray and ask God to stop the rain and He would.
„h Pray and ask God to send fire from Heaven and he did.
But, what a man of prayer was the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the disciples came to Jesus and said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray."
That has always been a fascinating statement to me.
„h They had seen Jesus perform miracles.
„h They had heard the teaching and preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet the thing that struck them so much and gave them so much desire to emulate was the prayer life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That says a lot to us today about the importance of prayer in our life.
So some thought that Jesus Christ as Elijah.
C. Some Said That He was Jeremiah.
Some thought that He was Jeremiah because of His heart.
It was Jeremiah who prayed: Jeremiah 9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Jeremiah was a man with a heart.
When people came around the Lord Jesus discovered immediately that this was no mere teacher - No ordinary kind of person.
When they got around the Lord Jesus they saw a man of compassion.
They saw someone who was moved with compassion when He saw people.