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Word from the Pastor

Mark 8:29 “And He said to them, But whom say you that I am? And Peter answered and said to Him, Thou art the Christ.”


We all have to answer crucial questions in life. When you were young, at some point someone asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and we may have said “a fireman” or “a train driver”,” a pilot”, without following through. But, in time, the “What will you do with your life?” question requires a mature, thoughtful answer.


But there may be no more significant question in all of life than the one Jesus asked His first disciples in Mark 8:29, “But who do you say I am?” This question came in the context of a conversation between Jesus and His disciples near the northern city of Caesarea Philippi.


When Jesus asked, “Who do people say I am?” the disciples offered various answers, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say You are one of the other prophets" (Mark 8:27). Not satisfied with any of these answers, Jesus turned to His closest followers and asked, But who do you say I am? (Mark 8:29). The structure of this question in Greek emphasises the word “you.” It could be translated more literally, “And you, who do you say that I am?”


You and I can spend our lives speculating about theology. We can study the Bible and spin out all sorts of fine ideas about Jesus. We can even become a master of “the quest for the historical Jesus.” But, in the end, each one of us has to answer for ourselves the central question of life: “Who do you say I am?”


We need to decide whether Jesus is just a good teacher or a liar, or who He actually said He was. We need to wrestle with Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of God and its implications. We need to confront the peculiar way in which He identified Himself with God, even going so far as to forgive sins. And then we need to grapple with the meaning of His death and the implications of His resurrection. Only then are we in a position to adequately answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?”


The way we answer Jesus has the potential to change our lives. If we acknowledge Jesus to be a divinely inspired teacher, then we will pay close attention to what He says so that we might believe it and live it.


If we see Jesus as the Messiah, then we will serve Him as God’s royal representative who ushers in the Kingdom.


If we believe Jesus to be the Saviour of the world, then we will put our ultimate faith in Him.


And if we confess Jesus to be the Word of God Incarnate, the very Son of God, indeed God, then we will fall before Him in worship so that we might live our entire lives as an offering to Him.


So, who we say Jesus is, liar, lunatic or Lord, will have an effect in our lives and how we live and act towards others and Him the God-man.


God bless

- Rev Ian Livingstone

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