Who Is He?

Posted by on December 12, 2010 under Bulletin Articles, Front Page Posts

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13 (NASB)

Some things demand to be explained! Jesus demanded to be explained! Everyone had an opinion about Jesus. Some thought he was an incredible man from God, and he did incredible things to help the hopeless. Some were amazed by his teachings and the way he presented them. Some were curious. Some saw him as opportunity to be exploited. Some thought he was dangerous. Some thought he was disastrous to Israel and must be destroyed. However, everybody in Israel thought something. He was not a nobody!

Thus he asked the twelve near Caesarea Philippi, “How do people explain me? Who do they say I am?” He knew people talked about him. He likely even knew who people thought he was. He certainly knew who he was. Then why did he ask the twelve what people were saying about him? Why? It was time for the twelve clearly to know who he was. It was time for them to understand the meaning of his identity.

They could learn quickly that he was God’s Christ. They would not understand for more than a month after his death what it meant for Jesus to be God’s Christ.

People always have an opinion about Jesus’ identity—including you! It is likely if you had no opinion, you would have no interest in reading this. Your opinion may be good, neutral, or bad. However, 2000 years after his death and resurrection, you likely have an opinion about Jesus’ identity.

What is your opinion? Was he a slick, polished deceiver? Was he a curiosity who captured his audience’s imagination? Was he someone who just happened to be born at the right place at the right time? Was he the imagined invention of others? Was he God’s son who actually defeated death and Satan?

For us, will earthly opinions about Jesus always be a matter of faith? Yes! Regardless of your conclusion, you believe. Christianity rests on the faith of the person.

In the resurrection, all will know who he is. The essential question: Who is he to you?

Even Jesus Got Tired!

Posted by on December 5, 2010 under Bulletin Articles, Front Page Posts

Now when Jesus heard it, He withdrew from there in a boat, to a lonely place by Himself; and when the multitudes heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and felt compassion for them, and healed their sick. Matthew 14:13, 14. (NASB)

There was a limit to Jesus’ physical endurance, and he honored that limit. (See Mark 1:35 and Luke 6:12.) Finding moments alone to renew himself must have been hard for Jesus! Demands on his physical strength and the stress he endured frequently had to be beyond measurement! Do you find it necessary to restore and refresh your energy when you have endured a period of difficulty? Does continual stress zap your energy? Since Jesus was flesh and blood just as you are, he reacted to pressures as do we.

Daily demands on Jesus were enormous! If you had the power to heal incurable sickness, can you imagine how many requests you would receive? If you could teach in the manner Jesus did, can you imagine how many people would follow? If you said, “No!” to someone who was counting on your help, can you imagine how the person would react? There was always just one more paralyzed person, just one more blind person, just one more lame person, etc., who needed help.

Some came to him for the wrong reason (John 6:15, 26). Some hated him and what he did and wished to discredit him (Mark 8:11). Some wished to do him harm (Mark 3:6; John 12:47-50). Jesus’ intent was to be God’s example of what to do and how to feel in everything. It was so demanding that there were times when Jesus could not go into populated areas—people expected too much (Mark 1:45)! Consider statements like Mark 2:1, 2; 3:20; Luke 4:42; and Luke 6:15, 16. Talk about living in a fish bowl!!! Jesus had no privacy! Someone always needed or wanted something!

Yet, even when he was tired, even when he genuinely needed to be alone, even when he dealt with stresses we have never known, he always cared about people. People—even his enemies (Matthew 22:15, 16)—knew he cared! One of the incredible things about Jesus was that he felt compassion for people, regardless of his needs.

Always remember he compassionately cares for you, too.