When Does What-You-Think Matter?
Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” What do the “crowds”—the people you rub shoulders with daily—say about Jesus? A great teacher? A moral crusader? A rebel? A good example? A fraud? A judge? What about your friends and acquaintances?
Jesus didn’t ask the question because the crowds’ opinions would make a difference in Who He Is. Nor do all these opinions matter.
He then asked his disciples, men who had witnessed His miracles, heard His teaching, and listened to His exchanges with the leaders and teachers of the people. These were men who had heard Jesus expound on the Scriptures and how they applied to Him. Their answer mattered more, because at least it was an informed answer.
Peter answered for them all: “God’s Messiah.”
It was the right answer, although Peter and the others didn’t quite understand everything that they knew. “God’s Messiah,” “The Christ of God,” and “God’s Anointed One,” are all equivalent translations.
The point is that Jesus is Who He IS, and not whoever someone imagines or wants Him to be.
Therefore we are called to know Christ better and better. In this way we grow in faith, hope, and love. This is the reason for preaching, for Bible classes, for individual Bible study, and for personal devotions. That way, when facing troubles or even death, we can with certainty cling to Jesus, God’s Messiah, our Savior.