“Who do you say I am”-Jesus
I grew up in and around the church my whole life. Since this was my upbringing I was very familiar with the stories in the Bible and of course Jesus. Every Christmas we would celebrate Jesus being born and every Easter we would celebrate his resurrection. However, because of my familiarity I thought I knew Jesus when in reality I didn’t.
The passage that Pastor Perry preached this week (Mark 8:27-30) is a passage that changed my life. It was this passage that Jesus challenged me and grabbed hold of my life. In Mark 8, Jesus turned to his disciples and asked what people thought and said about him. They listed off different important people but were missing Jesus’s real identity. Then Jesus made it personal by asking the disciples who do they say he is and only after some silence did Peter state that Jesus is the Christ. Then Jesus called them to follow him.
Here is what impacted and changed me from the passage. Because I grew up and around the church I was familiar with “Bible” terms and how to speak about who Jesus is, but the reality is I was quoting other people and it wasn’t personal. It was when Jesus challenged me personally that I had to make a choice. Jesus stated to me, I know what your parents and friends believe but what do you say. This is vital because walking with Jesus is not just knowing who He is but also having a personal relationship with Jesus. I could not just claim my parents’ faith or a pastor’s faith as my own, I had to make a personal choice, would I follow Jesus or not? Would I turn to him for forgiveness of sins or not?
I thought that because I was in the church I was good to go but that is not true. One can live their whole life in and out of church and still not have a personal relationship with Jesus. That is when I made the choice that I would follow Jesus. That I would have a personal relationship with him. That I needed Jesus to be forgiven from my sin.
This is the challenge I want to lay before you today. Have you become so used to “church” or doing “church” that we have missed the whole point, a personal relationship with Jesus? You can’t claim someone else’s faith you have to choose for yourself, will you surrender and follow Jesus or not? Who do you say Jesus is and what will you do about it.