Who Do You Say I Am?
If we were to survey the world and ask all the people what makes a life significant, I imagine we would get a variety of answers:
- Making a positive impact
- Making a lot of money
- Being a good person
- Having people around you that you love
- Being famous
- Having people remember you when you are gone
- Not hurting anyone else
- Having fun
- Living each day to the fullest…YOLO!
- Being the best at something
The truth is, a significant life has very little to do with any of these things.
A significant life is a life lived for God and to please God.
I don’t mean that those who don’t follow God are insignificant. I just mean that their lives and accomplishments pale in comparison with a life lived fully for Christ.
We don’t see it here on earth so much. A life that is full of money, fame, good works or impact looks bright and colorful to us. We are attracted to lives like that as a magpie is attracted to a mirror. It is only when compared with eternity that we see that these goals and aspirations are empty.
A life lived for God may include some of the elements listed above. A life lived for God may also include fame, being loved, or making a positive impact. But those things should not be the goals of our lives. They could be byproducts of a life lived fully for God, but not always.
In Matthew 16, Jesus has an interesting interaction with his disciples. The Jewish leaders of the day are demanding that Jesus perform miraculous signs. Because he had already done many miracles and they hadn’t believed in him thus far, he refuses. If fact, earlier in chapter 15, Matthew tells the stories of Jesus sending a demon from a girl, healing many people and miraculously feeding 4,000.
As Jesus and the disciples move on from this interaction, Jesus uses the opportunity to ask them two crucial questions.
He first asks them who other people were saying he was. Many rumors were going around at the time that Jesus was a prophet, John the Baptist, Elijah or Jeremiah. These answers were incorrect conclusions people were making.
Then comes the climactic moment. Jesus says to the disciples,
This moment wasn’t just a factual check or quiz. Jesus was presenting them with the one question that would determine their eternal destiny.
If they answer correctly, knowing the truth about who he was, they would spend eternity in heaven with God.
If they answer incorrectly, they risk a future eternity of separation from God. As they walked away from the Jewish leaders who were completely missing the point, Christ is asking them who they will follow.
Will you follow me?
Will you follow them?
Peter answers the question correctly.
Peter is telling the truth about who Jesus is, knowing that getting this right is essential in determining the fate of soul. Jesus responds with love and grace and praise for Peter. I imagine it was one of the highlights of Peter’s life.
This question is also crucial for each of us to answer in our own lives.
Who do you say I am?
Is Jesus the Lord of your life? Have you given him control and submitted to his plan for your life?
Is he just a good teacher, an historical figure, or some kind of spiritual Santa Clause to you? Or have you trusted him to save your soul for all eternity?
It is crucial that each of you settle this question for yourself. He’s asking you today…who do you say I am?
I’ve created a free printable for you in 5 different colors. They are perfect for a child’s nursery or kids’ rooms. Start this important conversation with your kids today! This cute printable will give you a perfect starting off point for the conversation! You can find the download in the resource library!