When Jesus asked his disciples “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15), he was not seeking for affirmation. Rather, he was directing them to a fundamental question that every believer must answer – who is Jesus Christ?
The Significance of the Question
In the Bible, names hold significant meaning. They reveal one’s identity, character, and purpose. Thus, when Jesus asked his disciples this question, he was asking them to define his identity and mission.
This question is still relevant today. It is a question that every person must eventually confront in their lives – who is Jesus Christ to me? The answer to this question determines one’s beliefs and actions.
The Confession of Peter
After asking this question, Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). This confession of faith was not merely a statement of belief but an acknowledgment of Jesus’ divinity and authority.
Jesus responded by affirming Peter’s confession and declaring him blessed. He also stated that it was not flesh and blood that revealed this truth to Peter but God himself.
This declaration serves as a foundation for Christian theology. It affirms Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God who came to save humanity from sin and death.
The Importance of Knowing Jesus
Knowing who Jesus is goes beyond having intellectual knowledge or belief about him. It involves having a personal relationship with him through faith.
Jesus desires for us to know him intimately so that we can experience abundant life in him (John 10:10). This means surrendering our lives to him and following his teachings.
As we grow in our knowledge of Jesus, we become more like him in character and conduct. We love others as he loved us (John 13:34), forgive as he forgave us (Ephesians 4:32), and serve as he served (Mark 10:45).
The End Goal
So, what is Jesus aiming for when he asks his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” He is aiming for us to have a personal revelation of his identity and purpose.
When we confess Jesus as the Son of God and surrender our lives to him, we become part of his mission to reconcile humanity to God. We become his disciples who go out into the world to make more disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).
Ultimately, the end goal is for us to glorify God through our lives and fulfill the purpose he has for us. This can only be achieved by knowing and following Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, Jesus’ question to his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” remains a crucial question today. It demands an answer from every person who seeks to follow him.
Knowing who Jesus is goes beyond having an intellectual understanding of him. This enables us to fulfill our purpose in life – glorifying God through our lives and making disciples of all nations.