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When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am (Matthew 16:13)?

By this time Jesus was becoming famous through his teachings and his miracles. He was ready to disclose his true identity to his disciples. They answered and said some are saying that you are John the Baptist, and others are discussing you are one of the prophets. Then Jesus asks them more personally, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter said that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. This was the moment that Jesus revealed himself as more than a great teacher and prophet. He wasn't just another way to Heaven, but he was the way and God in the flesh. As he challenged his disciples, the question still remains, who is Jesus to us personally? We must know him individually as Lord and Savior.

A discussion continues today about the identity of Jesus. People are still saying that he was just a good man or a prophet. Although there are many opinions, it is important to know the words of Christ. He declared himself to be the light of the world (John 8:12). As he opened up blinded eyes, men could see life, color, and his creation for the first time. Just as incredibly, he opened spiritual eyes as well. The world was able to see God for the first time. He confirmed Peter's declaration that he was the Son of God. Through him we are able to know truth, right from wrong, and the meaning of life. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." He will light up our darkness and show us the way.

There were many other titles that Jesus gave himself. These names included the Bread of Life (John 6:35). As he fed the hungry multitudes, he also filled the deep, spiritual void in people. He was called the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11). This referred to his shepherd nature of provision, protection, and guidance for his flock. Also, it predicted the crucifixion which met our most critical needs. In addition, he is declared as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). He becomes the Old Testament, animal sacrifice that is required for the forgiveness of our sins. Scripture records many other names for him such as the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, our Emmanuel, the Alpha and Omega, our Rock, and most importantly the Savior.

As God has given us his Son, we all must search out the truth of his identity. Who is Jesus to us individually? Knowing him as a good philosopher will not break our addictions. Only hearing his teachings will not make us morally pure. Faith in him as just another prophet will not save us from our sins. The belief that he is a good man will not get us into Heaven. We must know him as Lord and Savior. When we make him the Lord of all, then we will find the peace and hope that he offers. Then we will see him as our Shepherd that guides us, the Light that rescues us from darkness, and the Bread that satisfies the longing soul. He will be the Emmanuel who is with us in the darkest moments and never leaves us. When we put our trust in Jesus as Lord, he will save us from our sins and give us everlasting life. Who is Jesus to you?

Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski, Your Brother & Sister In Christ. All comments are welcomed at rpyszkow@gmail.com.

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