“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”. (Matt. 16:15).
Jesus once confronted his disciples with a very crucial question meant to test their understanding of who he really was. That was necessary because many people may just be following him without a proper knowledge of who he really is. People have different knowledge of him. He means different thing to different people. But there’s a central truth about his person that he expects every of his followers to know.
The Bible says “he asked his disciples, who do people say the Son of man is?.” They all gave different answers, some say he is John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others said he was Jeremiah, or one of the prophets (Matt. 16:13-14).
What a confusion! Isn’t it funny or rather pitiable that people who were so close to him, who had followed him for years were confused about his true identity? One is not surprised then, that even today, not many who claim to know Jesus actually know him in the true sense of it. It’s surprising that there are many who carry big Bibles, attend church regularly, participate religiously in Christian activities, but don’t have revelational knowledge of Jesus. (My eyes have seen a lot!) No wonder they can be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. “Until we all reach unity of faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves blown here and there by every wind of teaching and the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:13-14).
There’s a central truth about the identity of Jesus that every one claiming to be his disciple should know that will establish him or her in faith, that will get them rooted in Him such that come what may, they won’t be moved. Job knew that truth, hence he could say in the midst of excruciating pain, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). Apostle Paul knew that truth also, and was able to say:
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2Tim. 1:12). Peter, knew it too, and said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (John 6:68).
It’s consolatory however, to know that it wasn’t all the disciples that were confused about the identity of their master, Jesus. One of them, Peter said to Him “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:15) Jesus replied in verse 17, “…for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven”.
Beloved, we need to have a revelational knowledge of who Jesus is. That’s what establishes us in Him. That’s what will make us go all the way with him in spite of anything. Let’s seek to know him experientially today. God bless you.
Revd. A. U. Akpan is the President of Faith Activation Global Ministries, Lagos, Nigeria. The ministry is in divine partnership with The Ministry of the Word.