Who Do You Say That I AM?

My heart had searched for you. I longed for truth. For so long I was lost in darkness. I knew of you, but I didn’t KNOW you. But the day I met you, you stood before me, and saturated my spirit with your presence. That day I KNEW. You were my savior, redeemer, and king. You delivered me from evil, and allowed my eyes to see. “Who do you say that I am”? His presence demanded an answer. “You are the son of man, God in the flesh. Besides you there is no other”, I quietly spoke from within. It was you who placed my feet on solid ground, and showed me the path to the life.

JESUS…..quite arguably the most well-known name, and also the most controversial. Virtually all scholars agree on the historical existence of Jesus. His life, teachings, and presence reverberated throughout all history, and forever impacted humanity. We all have heard the teaching, Jesus was born of a virgin, died on a cross, and rose three days later, ascending to the right hand of the Father, and paying the penalty of sin and death. This man challenged religious hypocrites, and performed the miraculous. Remaining humble, Jesus discouraged his followers from boasting. “See to it that no one knows about this”,  Jesus would say. Jesus wanted less focus on the miracles he performed, and more on the message he proclaimed. That message was one that none before him could have repeated. It was one of salvation. Many religious leaders tried to show a way, but Jesus proclaimed; “I am the way, the truth and the life. NOBODY comes to the Father but through me”. Man could never work their way to God, you could never be good enough, but God had paid the price with the shed blood of his innocent son.

That salvation message hung not on who Jesus claimed to be, but who his followers would ultimately identify him as.

“Who do you say that I am”?

This was the question Jesus asked his disciples. “One day as Jesus was praying in private and the disciples were with him, he questioned them, and asked them this very question.

“Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others that a prophet of old has risen”, they answered him.

But Jesus asks again: “Who do you say that I am”? Peter replies; “the Christ, son of the living God”. (This same question repeated in Matt 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-30, and John 6:66-71).

Jesus already knew what others’ were saying about him, what mattered was what those closest to him believed. Only those truly belonging to the Father could have possibly known the answer…..He was the ‘Christ’, which means ‘anointed one’. He was the promised messiah. “Blessed are you, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven”, Jesus exclaims.

To truly belong to the Father, you must know the truth about the identity of Jesus. There are only two possible sources which knowledge flows from,  that of the world, and that of God. The world will lie to you about the true identity of Jesus. It will tell you he’s just a man, a good teacher, or maybe even a prophet. Possibly even a ascended master, here to teach you the way to enlightenment….awaken the divine within, Christ consciousness. But the truth lies within God’s Holy word. Jesus wasn’t just some man, he was the word manifested in the flesh, and he was fully man and fully God, co-equal in all authority. The entire old testament was Jesus Christ concealed, while the new testament was Jesus Christ revealed.

As a former new-ager I always believed in a Jesus, but what I believed about him was false. If Jesus had asked me this same question, I would have failed the answer. I would have identified him as a man of divine origin, but I would have failed to acknowledge him as the narrow path back to God. Jesus wasn’t the created, he was the CREATOR. Before he was manifested in the flesh he had many attributes throughout the Old Testament that would later connect to scripture in the New Testament. He is the rock, savior, judge, creator, and the great I AM. This is why false religions of the world will always deviate from the truth, and what God’s word has already identified him as.

Jesus’s impact in the world was so immense, that all religions had to account for him in some way. Jews acknowledge his existence, his crucifixion, and that his followers reported him as risen from the dead. However, they deny his divinity and that he was their promised messiah. In Islam Jesus is revered as a prophet, but his godhood denied. And they deny he was crucified or died on a cross, but believe he will return one day and revive Islam. In Hinduism Jesus is seen as a god, the divine modeling of self-realization, and one of many forms of a “Ishta”. In Buddhism Jesus is seen as a teacher, Holy man, enlightened being, but still just a man none-the-less. And then the New age movement, sees him as an ascended master, something we can attain within, to be as gods….Christ consciousness.

The whole world must account for his existence, and lead you astray, because if they didn’t, you may just find out the truth…..and the truth is far too dangerous. So let the world preach unity, peace, and never division. Make that Jesus one of love and acceptance, never one who says “I come not to bring peace, but a sword”. Never one who says, “the world hates me because I testify that it’s works are evil”, and especially not a Jesus that says he isn’t a way, but THE WAY.

After his death and resurrection he promised his disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit would not speak of himself, but lead them unto all truth, exalting Jesus, and illuminating Holy scripture. In Isaiah 11:2 this was prophesied,  “the spirit will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord”. Then according to John 14:17 we know the world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him or knows Him. It is only by the Holy Spirit that you can truly know him….it is divine knowledge and truth. And it is the TRUTH  that will set you free from this world of darkness.

It is Christ that is the true light, and able to give you true life. In Exodus 17:6 Moses cried out to God that his people were thirsty. He was instructed to take his rod with which he struck the river, and now strike the rock. “Behold, said the Lord, I will stand before you on the rock of Horeb, and water will come out”. This water that quenched the people’s thirst in the wilderness, would later be repeated by Christ when He says in John 4:13, “whoever drinks this water I give, will never thirst again”. Those in Exodus were given a shadow of that to come. And in Isaiah 8:14 it was prophesied, “that he would become a sanctuary, but to the houses of Israel a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over”. In 1 Peter 2:4, Jesus is spoke of as a “living stone which is rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God”. Jesus is the source of living water, and the rock of ages that we must cling too.

Jesus is savior. “Look to me and be saved. All you ends of the Earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved” (Romans 10:10).

Jesus is judge. “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the son” (John 5:22).

Jesus is Light. In Isaiah 60:20 “Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end”. In Psalms “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid”? In John 1:9 “He himself was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9The TRUE Light who gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him”.…

Jesus is Creator. In Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”….Notice the plural ‘us’. This is referring to the Godhead from the beginning. Father, son, and Holy Spirit. In John 1:3 “He was with God in the beginning. 3Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4In Him was life, and that life was the light of men”.…

Jesus is the great I AM. In Exodus in the old Testament God tells Moses when asked who he should say sent him, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ In the New Testament Jesus proclaims in John 8:24 “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I AM!”

Jesus is the First and the Last. In Isaiah 48:12 ““Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I have called: I am He; I am the first, and I am the last. Surely My own hand founded the Earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they stand up together” In Revelations 22:13 Jesus proclaims at his second coming “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”.  All of his creation will praise him, and every knee will bow.

So I ask you….who is Jesus? His true identity is contained and beautifully woven throughout scripture. He is our rock, our savior, our judge, the true light, creator, the great I AM, the first and the last. He is our living water, and the bread of life. Within him is no darkness at all.

But of most importance….HE is the word itself made manifest. It is with His word the world was created, and it is His word that evil will be defeated with.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. The world will try to keep us away from the word and it’s true context. To be able to fully recognize who Jesus is we must have the Holy Spirit who testifies of Jesus through scripture.

“With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me stray from Your commandments. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD; teach me Your statutes” (Psalm 119:11).…Jesus is my guiding light, I need his word to illuminate my path.

As the world grows dimmer, and deception increases, It is his word you cannot depart from. Hide it in your heart. Jesus is asking all his true disciples…..”who do YOU say that I am”? Only by the power of the Holy Spirit and knowing his word can you answer this correctly. The world and even the church are causing God’s people to perish in ignorance.

What you believe about Jesus matters. If you don’t know the true Jesus, can you be sure Jesus knows you?

“For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5)

Examine yourself and make sure you are in the faith. Know just who Jesus is. Don’t let the world define him for you.

“If You Abide in My Word, You Are Truly My Disciples”

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