Luke 9:20 "But what about you?" Jesus asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God." (NIV)
For the past fifty years, mainstream Christianity has been involved in what I term as ‘The Interpretation Wars.’ At some point during the 1960s, when every institution was being confronted, challenged, and changed, the Church also faced a return of an old conflict in a new form. The authority of scripture was undermined with the Death of God controversies, only to be countermanded by the Jesus movement. A couple of decades later, inerrant fundamentalism championed society and was immediately confronted by social justice liberalism. These days, we are still dealing with the fallout caused by past theological and Biblical differences; we are still fighting one another in a new phase of the Interpretation Wars where the sovereignty of God is being assaulted by the ascendance of humankind.
No matter where we are located on the theological spectrum, or in which Interpretation Front we are entrenched in, there is only one crucial question that needs to be debated and answered: who do we say that Jesus is? At the end of our lives, when we are each on the threshold of Eternity, this is the only question that will be important. All of our pre-conceived ideas and life assembled opinions will pale in significance. The only question we will be asked is this: Who is Jesus?
If Jesus is only an historical religious leader to us, we will have no future. If He is only a teacher of lifestyle morals, we will have no more life. If He is just an ancient person whose real characteristics are lost in the myths of time, we will never live beyond death. But if He is to us the Christ of God, sent to save us from our sins, we will be forgiven, we will be welcomed into heaven, and we will be given everlasting life.
Question: Who is Jesus to me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the King of kings and the Christ of God. You came to Earth to draw us to Your Light and save us from our sinful ways. May we serve You throughout our lives and acknowledge You as our only Savior. In Your Holy and sacred Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is currently the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is John’s latest Celtic Cross drawings. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Cross.