Mark 8:29 (NASB): “But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said to Him, ‘You are the Christ.’”
As high school seniors prepare to graduate and move on to the next chapter of their lives, they have many questions that they must answer: What will I do after graduation? What kind of job will I get? Where will I go to college? It seems at times that there is no end to the questions. All of these questions are important, but they are not the most important question. The most important question they will answer is one that was posed more than 2,000 years ago to a group of largely illiterate men who were following Jesus: “Who do you say that I am?”
In Mark 8, Jesus addresses his disciples, and he asks them two questions. In verse 27, he asks them, “Who do people say that I am?” They give him several answers: “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.”
In our culture today, we are told many things about who exactly Jesus Christ is. We are told that Jesus was a man of peace, that he was a political reformer and that he was a great teacher of moral principles. We further are told that Jesus is primarily a man of love and tolerance who doesn’t want to judge anyone. You see, we have created a Jesus in our image. In the words of the '80s band Depeche Mode, we want our own “Personal Jesus.” The reality, though, is that we are created in his image.
It matters not what the world says about Christ. What matters is, who do we say he is? How we answer that question means everything. In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father but through me.” One either believes this, or they do not. When we deny Christ and his word, we in essence are saying that we do not think Jesus to be who he says he is.
In Mark 8:29, Peter answers the question “Who do you say that I am?” with the truth, “You are the Christ.”
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All of us are sinners, and because of this fact, we are separated from God and in need of Jesus. No number of good works or just simply being a “good” person is going to earn us our salvation. God knows this, and that is why He gave His son to pay the price that had to be paid for our sins. This is why he is “the Christ,” the anointed one.
John 3:16 reminds us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” This is who Jesus is, and this is what he came to do. As our graduates prepare to leave home and begin new chapters in their lives, the most important question that they or anyone else will answer is, “Who is Jesus Christ?” How we answer that question determines our eternal destiny.
Tim Adams is the pastor Calvary Baptist Church in Craig.