This question is still valid today, just as it was when Jesus asked in Matt 16:13-18 NLT, He came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, known for being religious and superstitious. “He asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then He asked them. “Who do you say I am?””
Each of us has to make up our own minds who we say Jesus is. Here are some responses:
Jesus is my ATM. Whenever we need money to meet our needs, we go to the nearest ATM and draw the money. We think of God in these terms as well. God blesses me and meets my needs. Whenever I need something, I go to Him and He blesses me. This is His primary role in my life. We know who God is, just like Pharoah did after the Lord struck down his first born. Then, Pharoah was ready to let the Israelites go, but wanted to be blessed also. (Gen 12:32) Even Esau, was more interested in the blessing, than a relationship with his father. (Gen 27:38)
We “name it and claim it” from the Lord, seeking what He has to provide to us, rather than seeking Him as Lord. It is more likely that we are to get that dreaded message from the ATM i.e. Insufficient Funds! Not enough put into the relationship to expect anything out of it.
Yes, God longs to bless us. But this is not His Primary role and function. Blessings follow obedience and blessing follow as evidence of the life one has already chosen to live in obedience to God.
Jesus is my Genie in a Lamp. He can be contained and used whenever I need him. The rest of the time, it just sits on the shelf. We control his influence in our lives and take Him out only when we need Him in emergencies, hard times and urgent situations, those moments when we are desperate and need His supernatural powers to intervene. We like the convenience of this arrangement with Jesus, because he cannot make us uncomfortable and we can control him. Much like Felix when Paul was speaking to him about faith in Jesus Christ, Felix became uncomfortable about the impact Pauls’ teaching was having on his life, he became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” (Acts 24:24-25)
But Jesus wants full control of our lives and control of every aspect of our lives. He cannot be contained and used at our convenience.
Simon Peter knew what the right answer was to the question: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from a human being.” (Matt 16:13-18 NLT)
God reveals Jesus to us, not as our ATM, or our Genie in the Lamp, but as our Lord and King. Irrespective of what our confession is, Jesus is and remains Lord. He is our King, ruler of all people, worthy of praise and adoration and our primary function is to worship Him. He is also Lord, one to be revered (to honor and respect, to be in awe of).
If Christ is not all to you, He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as part Saviour of men. If He be something He must be everything, and if He be not everything, He is nothing to you. – Charles H. Spurgeon.
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