December 04, 2009

What About You?

Mark 8:27-30

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Mark 8:29


When we first hear Jesus’ question in this passage, we might think he has a self-esteem problem. But Jesus wanted to find out if his followers knew who he really was. Anyone who tries to make Jesus something other than the Messiah will end up disappointed.

Jesus often pulls us in from general conversation, in which we can maintain some personal distance, to the pointed intimacy he wants from us. “Who do you say I am?” requires a complete surrender of our ideas about Jesus and a complete submission to his mission.

“You are the Messiah” isn’t a campaign slogan or a commercial jingle. It’s a confident admission that we need a Savior. Peter was honest enough to admit that the way to find Jesus is not through courageous acts that show self-confidence but through humble obedience to Christ and his kingdom.

In the book Conversations, Eugene Peterson says, “That question [by Jesus] and that answer [by Peter] center life. With that question and that answer, we’re at the core of things. In Jesus, we find God speaking to us. In Peter, we find a person speaking for us.”

Who is Jesus? How would you answer that question? Do you see the Jesus you need or the Jesus you merely admire? It has everything to do with what kind of Jesus you are looking for.

Jesus, help me to give up my own ideas and notions about you. Help me to see who you truly are and to find assurance in your name and life. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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