The question Jesus asked we all must answer is presented in Matthew 16:13-16. Do you know how you will answer it?
The question Jesus asked we all must answer was presented to his disciples
Jesus did not directly and publicly announce he was the Messiah. The Son of God. He was subtle and indirect, but when you examine scripture, he makes it clear that’s exactly who he was. And he carried himself in a confident manner that demonstrated he was fully aware of his identity and his mission. The one we celebrate on Easter.
How we answer his question is significant. And it’s important to understand the importance of the question and its answer.
Jesus asked it when he and the disciples appeared to be hanging out. A casual question in a relaxed, informal moment. But it was pointed and direct. Not rhetorical or philosophical. He wanted a specific answer with a complete commitment. The future of each disciple’s ministry and the future of the Kingdom of God depended on it.
The question Jesus asked we all must answer has one correct answer
However, Jesus wanted more than the glib answer to a Sunday school question you’ve answered a thousand times. He wanted gut check honesty from the heart. So he didn’t ask a leading question that contained the answer in it. Or provide a clue. Perhaps that’s why he referred to himself as the “Son of Man.” They had to come up with “God” on their own.
So, the disciples played it cool and offered a variety of answers. They named off John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. All religious Hall of Famers and therefore, safe, Sunday School answers.
People today play it cool too. Ask, “Who do you say Jesus is?” and answers include things like a…
- Good man
- Spiritual leader
- Moral teacher
And yet, none are sufficient. It’s like comparing Jesus to Mother Teresa or Billy Graham. Both are considered Hall of Famers among Christians today. But they were still sinners and didn’t come close to the perfect life of Jesus. Or his crowning achievement–resurrection from the dead.
And while people today will admit there is something special about Jesus. Something remarkably undeniable. They stop short of declaring him the Son of God. And are especially uncomfortable on how he himself presses for the answer. And demands exclusive allegiance in John 14:6.
Still, it’s a simple question. True or false. Yes or no. Right or wrong. And we all have a 50% chance of getting it right.
The question Jesus asked we all must answer will determine our eternal destination
Contrary to a popular belief, Jesus doesn’t meet you at the Pearly Gates with a spiritual weight scale to weigh all your good deeds against your bad deeds. And when the good deeds outweigh the bad deeds you get in.
Entrance into heaven is based on who you know. Specifically, do you know Jesus?
And it has to be more than head knowledge. Like how you know about Abraham Lincoln. You have to know Jesus like someone you actually care about and spend time with. Jesus himself said in Matthew 7:21-23 there are people in for an unpleasant surprise because they never understood the difference between the two. And never formed a real relationship with him. Even though that’s exactly what he wants with you and me.
Can you imagine the horror? The utter despair? You thought you had it all figured out. The highest expectations for eternal bliss. Only to find out you got it all wrong?
So you can ignore the question. Pretend he didn’t ask it. Or simply blow it off. But you can’t avoid it. Because one day we will all face him and have to answer when he asks: WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?