Today, I would like to ask that as you read this blog post, you reflect on this question Jesus asked His disciples: “Who Do You Say That I Am?” As we go into the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of the holiday and that it’s about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. But, it’s also about how we as human beings perceive God and His Son Jesus Christ.
What did Christ really mean when He asked the question: “Who Do You Say That I Am?”
Well, to me, I feel that Jesus was asking a very simple question but it’s a question that I feel, we as Christians just skim over and never really dig into. I feel that Jesus is asking us this question out of a sense of curiosity because He wants to know; how we as human beings perceive Him. In the Bible, God refers to Himself as “I AM” to Moses and as the God of the Israelites and even Jesus Himself said that phrase “I AM”. In Mark 8:29, Jesus asks this very question to His disciples, but it’s Peter’s response that should show us who Christ really is and not who we perceive Him to be.
“29. He said to them, “But who do you say that I Am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ”.
I like this verse because it’s Peter’s response to Jesus’ question that should show us as people and as Christians; who Jesus is. In John 8:58, Jesus makes a clear message as to His divinity saying, “8. Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, ‘I AM”. Here in this statement alone, Jesus was acknowledging His eternal existence as God and because the Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus was saying, they wanted to stone Him.
I recently read a blog post by Efua of Grace Over Pain called, “Who Do You Say That I Am?” where she talks about this subject and in the blog post, she said, “… He becomes who you say He is to you. The challenge with most Christians is that they only view Jesus Christ as a forgiver of sins.” I like this quote because I feel that it really shows that whatever we need Christ to be; He is. This is shown in Exodus 3:13-14 where Moses asks God what to call Him when he returns to the Israelites and it is here that God first establishes His identity as the “I AM.”
Exodus 3:13-14 says, “13. Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14. And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.”
“Christ is the “I AM” of our lives. Whatever we need Him to be; He is because there is nothing that happens in our lives whether health, mental or spiritual that God cannot be. He is the Healer and Restorer.”
When God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”, God was saying this because only the Creator of all things can call Himself the I AM. When Jesus was asked if He was the Son of God by the Pharisees, He answered with “I AM” but it’s not just what He said and who He is, but what it means. I feel that the meaning of the words “I AM” is so that whatever comes after shows that God is whoever He needs to be. This is actually explained in a YouTube video by Steven Furtick called, “God Of My Struggles” where Pastor Steven Furtick talks about how God is the “I AM” in our struggles.
In the video, he makes several quotes that I feel we as people and as Christians should remember that Christ is and who He will always be.
- “I’m the God of that part of you that you don’t want anybody to see.”
- “I’m not just the God of your success. I’m the God of your struggle”
- “I’m not just the God of your victories. I’m the God of your defeats.”
Mother Teresa said, “Jesus said, ‘I AM THE TRUTH. And it is our duty and mine to speak the truth. Then it is up to the person who hears it whether to accept or reject it”
Throughout the Bible, we see that while God is called “I AM” by the Israelites, and later Jesus making several ‘I AM’ statements to His disciples and followers, but it’s in those statements that we see that Jesus didn’t just come to Earth to sanctify us back to Christ but to be everything that we need Him to be. In the Gospel of John, there are 7 ‘I AM’ statements that Christ makes throughout His ministry that should give us as Christians and as people; the picture of who Christ is to us today.
“I Am the Bread of Life”: John 6:35 says, “35. And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’ This verse is actually a reference to the manna that fell in the wilderness for the Israelites because while the manna satisfied the physical need; Christ as the Bread of Life will satisfy our spiritual needs.
“I Am the Light of the World”: In John 8:12, Jesus says, “12. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Once again, Jesus is proclaiming who He is and in it; Jesus is saying that whoever follows Him will never be led astray because He will be the light that lights our path; just like the Sun is the physical light that lights our path.
“I Am the Good Shepherd”: John 10:7; 9; 11 says, “7. Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 9. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.11. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” This verse should give us the true meaning of Christ being the Sacrificial Lamb for us on Calvary because He is the shepherd that laid down His life for us; His children.
“I Am The Resurrection & The Life”: In John 11:25-26, Jesus says, “25. Jesus said to her, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Christ reveals that He is the resurrection and in that resurrection, those that follow Him will live again in eternity with the Father; even though we are physically dead. Also, Jesus is the Life for those who believe but have not died.
“I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”: In John 14:6, Jesus answered Thomas by saying, “6. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” This is one of the better-known verses of scripture, yet it’s still one of the best pieces of scripture in my opinion. Jesus is saying that it’s only through His death that a way is made for us as human beings to form a relationship with God, and He is the truth and life that of God on Earth.
“I Am the True Vine”: In John 15:1, Jesus said to His disciples, “1. I am the True Vine and My Father is the vinedresser.” Jesus Christ is saying that He is the vine that stretches forth to gather fruit for the vinedresser (God the Father) and it’s the vinedresser that goes and picks the fruit from the vine. Because Christ is the vine and God is the vinedresser, we as people and as Christians are the fruit that is tethered to Christ.
This idea of knowing who Christ actually brings me to a song by Danny Gokey called “More Than You Think I Am” and in the song; it’s taken from God’s perspective of how, we as human beings have a limited and narrowed view of who He is in our lives. One of my favorite parts of the song is the chorus because I feel that it really captures humanity’s misconceived image of who God is.
“I’m more than you dreamed
More than you understand
Your days and your times
Were destined for our dance
I catch all your tears
Burn your name on my heart
Be still and trust my plan
I’m more than you think I am
More than you think I am”
This song really is a reminder of what we think God is like and this brings me to a devotional I read by Lizzie Milani of Pocket Fuel called “Cornerstone – Part 1” and in the devotional; she said, “Christ is the cornerstone and we are the stones with which he builds.” I like this quote because Jesus is our architect and we are the builders of His kingdom tasked with going out and spreading His message throughout the world.
In the devotional, there are several quotes that Lizzie makes that I feel we as Christians and as people should remember for ourselves when we feel that our foundation is crumbling beneath us.
- “Christ sets the tone and the angle of the whole structure.”
- “Everything about the building is determined by him – its lines, its strength – he is the building’s integrity and unity.”
- “It’s easy for us to start replacing the cornerstone (Jesus) with dogma, tradition, events, numbers, culture and more…”
- “When you start using your personal dogma and doctrine, your preferences and experiences, traditions and values as THE CORNERSTONE, it automatically pushes out ‘other’ bricks in the wall that no longer align with your cornerstone.”
- “It’s a lifelong discipline to relinquish control over to God; to understand that we really cannot control anything except for our own responses and reactions to the life that happens all around us.”
- “Our cornerstone is Jesus. He doesn’t build brick upon brick; same size, colour, and make… but it is him within us that connects us all. Unity doesn’t depend on conformity.”
- “Erwin McManus says, “Just because you don’t fit in easily, it doesn’t mean you don’t fit in.”
- “It is God that defines and unifies us. And his ultimate building plan and design is resurrection, restoration… redemption.”
This theme of knowing who Jesus is during this Christmas season and in any season, is where I find this blog post by Alecia Sanfillipo of Paradigm Shift called, “Do You Ever Feel Like You Aren’t Good Enough to be Close to God?” where she said a quote that I feel should reflect us as human beings when we stop and realize all that Christ did for us saying, “… Jesus not only saved me from my sins, but His sacrifice washed every bit of dirt and sin off me.” I like this quote because I feel that it reflects all that we know about Christ.
Alecia Sanfillipo said, “This realization helped me to know God as my Abba (Daddy) and not just my creator and savior. It gave me a whole new and intimate perspective on my relationship with Him.”
In the end, though, when Jesus asks us the question: “Who Do You Say that I Am?”, there are many things that we as human beings could say because Christ is Everything we need. We, as Christians and as people must remember during this Christmas season that Jesus isn’t just the Son of God but the One who willingly came from a perfect world to an imperfect world to show us the way back to God all the while letting us know that whatever we need and ask of Christ; Christ says, “I AM.”
So, what will you say?
Will you say, “You are the Christ. The Son of God”
Will you acknowledge that Christ is the “I AM’ and that He can be anything you need?
Or, Will you deny who He is in favor of a warped, human view of who Christ is?
Please comment below and join the discussion. I would love to hear what you think. If this post encouraged you today and you feel that someone else needs encouragement; feel free to share this post.
Efua. “Who Do You Say That I Am?” 17 Aug 2017, graceoverpain.com, https://graceoverpain.com/2017/08/17/who-do-you-say-i-am/ . Accessed 11 Dec 2017.
Furtick, Steven. “God of My Struggles”, YouTube, uploaded by Elevation Church, 1 year ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldT_7WAhBzk . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Gokey, Danny. “More Than You Think I Am (Lyric Video)”, YouTube, uploaded by DannyGokeyVEVO, 3 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su5DG8pQMB8 . Accessed 09 Dec 2017.
Hammond, Fred. “Bread of Heaven [Lyrics]”, YouTube, uploaded by ChristianFellowship5, 8 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjVgm9-XTqQ . Accessed 15 Dec 2017
Sanfillipo, Alecia. “Do You Ever Feel Like You Aren’t Good Enough to be Close to God?”, June, https://dailyps.com/ , https://dailyps.com/good-enough-to-be-close-to-god/ . Accessed 13 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “Exodus 3:13-14”, https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/niv/Exod%203.13-14 . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “I am the light of the world”, https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-studies/life-of-christ-ministry-in-galilee-late-a-d-32/i-am-the-light-of-the-world/ . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “I Am the Resurrection and the Life”, http://www.crosspointechurch.co/i-am-the-resurrection-and-the-life . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “I AM the True Vine”, http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/i-am-the-true-vine-oxygen-2014/ . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “John 10:11 I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”, http://pictures.agodman.com/spiritual-quotes/john-1011-i-am-the-good-shepherd-the-good-shepherd-lays-down-his-life-for-the-sheep-2/ . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “Matthew 16:15 Who Do You Say I Am (black)”, https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/matthew-16-15-who-do-man-say-i-am-black . Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “Mother Teresa”, https://i.pinimg.com/736x/99/3f/c2/993fc2a056c92df59f0913f6c220ec39–catholic-religion-catholic-quotes.jpg . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Author Unknown. “Quotes on Bread of Life”, https://www.quotemaster.org/bread+of+life . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Couperus, Sid. “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.” 20 Mar 2016, http://www.mountainviewcrc.org/service/i-am-way-truth-and-life . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.
Deeply Rooted. “Mark 8”, 14 Jan 2015, http://deeplyrooted.net/2015/01/mark-8/ . Accessed 15 Dec 2017.