Christ #3 – Who do you say that I am?
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
When I first started working with high school students, I was given the opportunity to teach a Bible Study. I was a little bit geeked and prepared extensively for about a week. I had my illustrations all planned, I had my questions all ready to go, and I was so excited to see God do something great. We started the night with a game, some icebreaker questions, and then we jumped into the Bible. We all jumped into reading Matthew 16 and looking at how Peter declares Jesus as the Christ. After reading it, I asked the first question of the night. I asked the group of high school students Jesus’ question that he asked His disciples, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” I was so excited to hear their answers. I was on the edge of my seat ready to hear them glorify our Lord with their uniquely personal answers. After about ten minutes of what I thought was deep thinking, all I got was silence and blank faces. Baffled, I asked if they understood the question. One brave high school boy spoke up and said, “Other than Christ what else should our answer be?” All the bravado that I went into this lesson with slowly began to dissipate.
I will admit as an unsaved teenager that I always thought that Jesus’ last name was Christ. I remember one of the first times I admitted it to a group of Christians they all started laughing thinking I was joking. I played it off as if I was but the word Christ was confusing when I first became a Christian. Christ is a title. The word Christ is the Greek word that is the same as the Hebrew word “Messiah,” which means, “Anointed one.” Now, the reason why that is so important is that Jesus has several names and titles. I often go through different seasons in my life where His name has a different meaning. In the story of Matthew 16 where Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am,” I have always been curious what Jesus thought the disciples were going to say. If Peter did not speak so fast would Simon the Zealot say the same thing as Andrew?
We all have those unique names that we give to our friends and loved ones. Those names have so much meaning behind them. For instance, my son’s name is Broly, I will call him Bro Bro, while my wife calls him Turtle. Now that may seem odd, but it is because his wardrobe is full of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle clothing, thanks to me of course.
Now since we cannot play “what if” with the Bible, I think the next best thing is to look at our lives and ask that question, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” We all come from different families, with different stories, different struggles, and different victories, but our Jesus is the same. We live in areas such as Grand Blanc, Holly, Goodrich, and Waterford, but our Jesus is still the same. However, the conversation that is amazing to have with believers, and non-believers, is “Who do you say that Jesus is?” Now a few months later, I taught this exact lesson to the same group of High School students. Their answers were amazing.
He is my Rock.
He is my Shield.
He is my King.
Jesus is my Friend.
He is the One who keeps me from falling.
Jesus is a Warrior.
Jesus is my Strength.
Jesus is my Shepherd.
Jesus is my Everything.
Jesus is my Protector.
Jesus is my Lookout.
He is my Peace and Joy.
Jesus is my First Love.
Take some time today, and answer this question for yourself. If Jesus looked at you and said, “Who do you say that I am,” what would your response be?