The Word Among Us

October 2021 Issue

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By: Jeff Smith

Who Do You Say That I Am?: Dear Brothers and Sisters, by Jeff Smith

Most of us wouldn’t be surprised to hear someone describe Jesus as a great prophet or as a man of compassion who loved the poor. Or we might hear them call him a rabbi whose preaching resonated with the people of his day. Or maybe they’d say he was a truly good man who met a tragic end. While many speak highly of Jesus (and others don’t), these views miss one important question: who did Jesus say that he was?

Jesus’ claims were actually quite scandalous to the Jews of his time. He asserted that he fulfilled the ancient prophecies about a suffering servant who would save Israel (see Isaiah 42, 49, 50, and 52–53). He said that he was the “son of man” from the Book of Daniel—a Godlike figure who was seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Daniel 7). He called himself the son of David. He even claimed to have authority that only God had: the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:7), authority over the Temple (Matthew 21:23), and authority over the commandments of God (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28).

Even at an early age, Jesus knew that he had a relationship with God unlike any other person. That’s why he could ask Mary and Joseph, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). Everything that Jesus said and did flowed out of his experience of this relationship. Everything flowed from his confidence that he was God’s Son.

The Grace of Revelation. Jesus is divine and eternal, but we are human and mortal. Jesus is without sin, but we are sinners. So how does all this relate to us? The answer is contained in one word: revelation. God delights in revealing his Son to us, just as he delighted in revealing to Jesus who he was.

St. Paul once prayed that every disciple of Christ would experience this kind of revelation: “. . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17). So as you pray and ponder the Scriptures this month, ask God to reveal Jesus to you more deeply. Ask him to give you a greater sense of his Lordship so that you can profess with St. Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). It doesn’t matter how holy or sinful you are; if you ask, God will answer.

And as the Father reveals to you more about who Jesus is, you will love him more—and desire to give more of yourself to him and to his people. Whether you have spent many years following the Lord or have just begun this journey, deepening in knowledge and revelation of the Lord can change you. It will give you even more of the power to live for the Lord every day.

Come, heavenly Father, and reveal your Son to us more fully!

Jeff Smith
President, [email protected]