Who do YOU say Jesus is?
In chapter 9 of Luke’s gospel we read the following:
Once when Jesus was praying by himself, the disciples joined him, and he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They answered, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life.”
He asked them, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”
I have been reading Philip Gulley’s book If the Church were Christian; Rediscovering the Values of Jesus. In it Gulley writes;
Jesus asked his disciples what others were saying about him. They offered a variety of answers. Then Jesus asked, “who do you say that I am?” In the past I assumed that was a pass-or-fail question, a test Jesus gave to judge his disciples orthodoxy. I suspect this has been a common interpretation of that text. But think how uncharacteristic that would have been for Jesus, whose regard for orthodoxy was never all that keen….
Religious institutions committed to communal uniformity seldom ask questions. The risk of straying beyond conventional answers is too great. Jesus asked questions because he believed in their power to engage his hearers, and he wanted his disciples to consider the reality of God in other ways, not regurgitate past platitudes that had lost their meaning and vigor. His frequent encouragement for others to embrace a new manner of being reveals a man quite comfortable with independent thought and action, who urged his hearers to flourish and grow and not be spiritually root-bound. In asking his disciples, “who do you say that I am?” Jesus was inviting them to reconsider what they believed about God and how God was present in the world.
I agree with the good Quaker. Jesus was probably asking a very honest question and was looking for honest answers.
So I thought I’d ask you…. who do you say Jesus is…..? Straying beyond conventional answers is permitted.
Who do YOU say Jesus is……?