Luke 9:18-22 Who is Jesus to You?

 

Intro: Throughout History men have debated the identity of Jesus & have had varying viewpoint concerning who He was

  1. Napoleon said, "I know men, and Jesus was no mere man." German rationalist Strauss, Described Jesus as "the highest model of religion,"

  1. John Stuart Mill as "the guide of humanity," And the French atheist

Renan as "the greatest among the sons of men,"

  1. Some in our time have referred to Jesus as the ultimate superstar.

  1. For Centuries People have wondered & debated about the identity of Jesus & it was no different in Jesus day.

  1. Passage before us today we find where Jesus asks His disciples a very important question

  1. Question that all of us gathered here today need to be able to answer w/ confidence & Certainty

  1. The answer to this question should govern & mark the very way that we live our lives.

18 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"

19 So they answered and said, "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again."

Here we see Jesus asking His disciples a very important question - Who do the crowds say that I am?

  1. What are people saying about me? Who do they think that I am?

As we consider this passage SIX things to note.

1st VARYING VIEWPOINTS in Jesus day/

A) Some said John the Baptist - John had been beheaded by Herod

  1. Some had gotten the wild idea that Jesus was John back from the dead

C) Jesus message was similar to Johns they both preached REPENTENCE

Others said no it is Elijah or one of the others prophets -

  1. Probably because of the miracles that Jesus did - they were linking that

display of miraculous power w/ Elijah

  1. Prophesies predicted that Elijah would appear on the scene before the

Messiah came - ( Jesus said John the Baptist was the fulfillment of that prophecy.)

  1. Although Elijah does come as 1 of the 2 witnesses before - 2nd coming

  1. Still others said that He was one of the Prophets - Matt. Gospel mentions Jeremiah -

In the apocryphal book of 2 Maccabees (Ch. 2) Jeremiah is said to have taken the Ark of the Covenant & the altar of incense out of the Temple

  1. They believed he hid them on Mount Nebo in order to preserve them from desecration and destruction by the Babylonians.
  1. Some Jews thought that before the Messiah returned to establish His kingdom, Jeremiah would return to earth & restore the Ark
    1. and the altar to their proper places in the Temple.

C) Some of the people perhaps saw in Jesus something of the character and message of John Baptist. Some saw in Him the fire and intensity of Elijah;

  1. And still others saw in Him the lament and grief of Jeremiah.

So first there were Varying viewpoints in Jesus day -

2nd - There are varying viewpoints in our day & age - There is a lot of discussion taking place today concerning the identity of Jesus Christ -

  1. It seems there are many who are seeking to figure out just who Jesus was

B) There are 3 "redefinitions" of Jesus that are gaining prominence today.

C) One is The mythical Jesus. This redefinition is the product of the Jesus Seminar, which boasts 200 "scholars" & broad media coverage.

  1. In a JS meeting, participants vote on the credibility of an event or saying from Jesusí life. They do this by putting a colored bead in a basket.
  1. Red means agreement with the Bibleís claims. Pink means less certainty.
  1. Gray means the voter doesn't believe the claim but thinks it still has spiritual value.

1) Black means the voter thinks the Bible is simply wrong.

F) As a result, the Jesus Seminar has denied the virgin birth, the Resurrection, the ascension, and many of the miracles of Jesus.

 

Then there is The New Age Jesus. This version of Jesus is specially designed to appeal to the New Age vision of universal harmony.

  1. Most adherents view Jesus as a great teacher who tried to help people get in touch with their spiritual powers.
  1. This Jesus traveled in the Far East and learned Eastern philosophy, which enabled him to become like God.
  1. He is very broadminded and nonjudgmental--he never mentions

original sin or hell.

Then there is The Jesus of color. Now we know that being a Jew that Jesus was certainly not blue-eyed blonde hair - white anglo saxon

  1. Although so much art has depicted Him. - Knotts Berry farm.
  1. There is a movement afoot, today that insists Jesus was a black man.
  1. Albert Cleage of the Pan- African Orthodox Church believes Jesus

"was black and came to save blacks from inherently evil whites."

  1. Even Respected black preacher Tony Evans believes Jesus was "of mixed ancestry"
  1. so that "black people, like all other people, can find in Him a place

of historical, cultural, and racial identity."

 

3rd thing we want to note is that Jesus makes the issue is a Personal issue - v.20 Well after hearing what the people thought - Jesus asked His disciples - who do you say that I am?

  1. Here we see Jesus zeroing in on what is really important in regards to

how we relate to Him

B) What is most important for you is NOT what others think about Jesus/ not what the JS says or some New age Guru / Or Prof. In college religion class

  1. That which will determine eternity for you is what YOU believe

about Jesus

  1. Who is Jesus to you? Your answer to that question will be radically important in the way that you live your life

  1. It will affect the way that you approach each day - plans for the future

Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God."

  1. In essence Peter was saying you are it! - ( Aaron w/ Jim C.YOU THE MAN) That is what Peter is saying - You are the one - Messiah - Savior

B) On another occasion - after Jesus had given a pretty strong teaching many people - left - canít handle this - stopped following Him

  1. Jesus turned to His disciples & asked are you going to leave me to?

  1. Peter answered there and said where would we go for in you are the

words of Life !!!!!!!!

We sing that song here sometimes No one but you Lord can satisfy the longing in my heart Ö.. Only you can fill my deepest longing - only you can breath in me new life / only you can fill my heart w/ laughter / only you can answer my hearts cry.

 

Any person who is going to be a true follower of Jesus Christ must come to that place in His heart -

  1. Where he knows that Jesus is the only way / that Jesus is God -

  1. That it is only in Jesus & through Jesus that I can experience real life / sins

forgiven / guilt removed Void filled -

  1. It is only in Jesus find assurance of eternal life /

  1. that I am not really living at all until I come to know Him / walk w/ Him.

Follow Him.

 

4th Thing to Consider is How did Peter get this UNDERSTANDING ?

How did Peter come upon this information?

A) MATTHEW records for us the response of Jesus to Peter's answer in doing so gives the answer to that question

Mt 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven..

  1. Jesus is declaring to Peter that this is NOT something that He

ANALYZED and FIGURED OUT on his own

1) This is something that was revealed to Peter from heaven

NOTE: The same revelation is necessary today/ A PERSON CAN NOT be argued into faith in Jesus Christ/ talk into believing / someone talk you out!

  1. For anyone to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of

the world, you have to have that truth REVEALED to you by God

B) IF you believe in Jesus today, itís not because someone was so convincing

in their presentation of the Gospel that you couldn't help but believe

  1. It is because God opened your eyes and revealed Jesus to you in such a

way as to plant saving faith into your heart

1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

Preached nothing but Jesus Christ & Him Crucified

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

  1. It is God who enlightens our hearts and minds to the truth that Jesus is

God who became man

  1. And it was God opened Peter's eyes to something that nearly everyone around him did NOT see

 

APPLICATION: We MUST NEVER rely upon methods or mans wisdom to see people come to Jesus

A) We must depend totally upon the work of the Holy Spirit

  1. Pray for the Lord to open peoples eyes / this week / this Easter / this yrs

Crusade & at the Purity Conference. PRAY PRAY PRAY.

QUESTION: Have Your eyes been opened? Who do you say that Jesus is? Is He It! He is the one you have put your trust in?

A) Does He have Your heart? Is He your MESSIAH?

  1. See the first step in being a Disciple is in having a RIGHT VIEW OF

JESUS The more I know of Jesus the more committed I will be to Jesus.

  1. If I only believe that Jesus is " one of the ways to God" - then I will

follow Him as long as I donít find something that fits my lifestyle better.

  1. If I view Jesus as just some good teacher - then I might consider what He

said & take what fits into my philosophy of living

  1. Many people have a smorgasbord philosophy as it relates to their belief system. Little Jesus/ little Hinduism / New age / Moral principles

  1. If Jesus is only the one that I run to in times of CRISIS - then when things

are going well I donít need Him.

  1. Or if my CRISIS doesnít improve - then I forget Him.

  1. Or if I Look at Jesus as just my "Savior" I will put my trust in Him for

my salvation / but not for any other area of my life.

  1. Hey those things I can handle on my own.

 

But if I truly believe that He is exactly who He claimed to be - GOD IN THE FLESH. The Sovereign one - the creator -

A) The ruler of Heaven & earth - the Messiah - the only way to HEAVEN -

& will make Him the Lord of my life.

 

5th & 6th Things we want to consider today - Is why were the People so confused about Jesus & why are people confused today?

A) Now It is interesting, that in all of the SPECULATION concerning Jesus,

that there were NONE that speculated that He was the Messiah

B) It is surprising that the disciples did NOT say: "According to the poll taken at your last miracle, there are quite a few who think that you are the Messiah"

E) Remember, His last miracle was the feeding of the 5,000/ That took place after the raising from the dead of Jairaus' daughter / woman w/ issue blood

1) One would think that they would begin to catch on that Jesus was the

Messiah

  1. Isaiah The prophet prophesied that the Messiah would 5 Then the shall be opened, eyes of the blind & ears of the deaf / Dead raised / lame walk

 

Now Jesus was doing all those things so why didnít they see that He was the Messiah?

  1. I think the answer is because He wasnít what they were looking for in a

Messiah.

  1. They were looking for a Monarch / They wanted a great ruler - - someone

to come & deliver them from their oppressors / the Romans

  1. They were looking for someone who was the son of a King / born to nobility -

b) Not some guy who was born in a Barn & was the Son of a Carpenter.

C) To Put it plainly - Jesus didnít fit that mold -

  1. Many miss Jesus today - for the very same reasons - He doesnít fit their mold of a SAVIOR - they donít like His message

  1. They donít want to recognize His DEITY & LORDSHIP / because

ultimately they do not want to answer to Him.

Ultimately they donít want to deal w/ the issue of sin. They donít want to admit that they need a savior - in doing so admitting sinners

  1. So it is easier to say - Hey Jesus was a good guy / great teacher / miracle worker - Prophet - ( I can live w/ that - still live the way I want )

  1. But the minute you start talking about Him being God come in the flesh - to give His life as a sacrifice to pay the price for all men

  1. I have a problem w/ that because - that means He came to pay the price for my sins too - which means I am a sinner - in trouble

  1. Quite frankly - People really donít want to deal w/ that issue!

But that is the issue - Jesus reveals that here. v. 21,22

21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one,

22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."

Now this is interesting you would thing that after this great Rev. that Peter had that Jesus would say - Go out again & tell everyone

  1. But actually He says the opposite - why?

  1. Because at THIS POINT, they themselves did NOT understand the full

implication was of Jesus being Messiah

1) That He was going to die - that He was going to a cross /

C) Today is Palm Sunday - Crowds Hosanna ÖÖ Lord -

Same Crowds at the end of the week - shouting - CRUCIFY HIM

1) TALK ABOUT CONFUSED

 

  1. That is what the Disciples failed to realize - Jesus came to be a sacrifice -

1) Jesus came to give up His life. Jesus came to pay the price.