When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?” is something each person should seek to answer. There are people who know Jesus as the Divine Healer or the Great Teacher or the Best Friend—all valid identities since they are truly part of Who Jesus Is. But do we know Him personally as Christ— The Son of the Living God? Do we know Him in His glorious capacity as the One sent from Heaven (fully God and fully man), not any lesser in His identification as God?
The Bible says that in the beginning, He was already there; already existing. In fact, “Through him, all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3). Everything we see and have in this universe—including our very lives—is because of Him. He made us. Our hearts beat because of Him.
That said, would our lives be in a capacity of fullness apart from Him? Would we know the extent of our life’s purpose if we put Jesus to one side and live only by what our eyes see? Is life only about eating and sleeping and working? Is our journey from the crib to the grave merely a passing of time?
Somehow, we know deep in our hearts that life must mean more than routine. Life must mean more.
I love that the question, “Who do you say I am?” begs us to seek an answer. Yes, who is Jesus? And what did He do here on earth? And what was precious to Him? Are the things precious to Him also precious to us? Do we care for things that break His heart? How about the things that put a smile on His face?
Is Christ our all in all?
At the start of His ministry, Jesus picked up a scroll in the synagogue and read a passage from the Prophet Isaiah, as if proclaiming His mission in life:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Jesus knew who He was, and what He was sent on earth to do. Since we are called to be like Him, then we must desire to follow His footsteps—to go where the poor are, the bound, the blind, the oppressed; proclaiming freedom and the Lord’s favor to them.
To be like Jesus, to know Him intimately, to know the kind of character He had, to possess the love He had for the souls of men—these are things that we should embrace. I love that we can say, like the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:10 -11, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
As we go through our every day, let us allow for the question of Jesus to resound in our hearts. I can almost hear Him whispering in our ear, “How about you? Who do you say I am?
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.