“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said to Him, ’You are the Christ.’ ” Mark 8:29
Jesus and his disciples had a rare occasion when they were not accompanied by throngs of people and Jesus opened up an important discussion by asking, “Who do people say I am?”
“Some say you’re John the Baptist. Some say you’re Elijah. Others just say you’re one of the prophets.”
It appears that some of the Jewish people believed in a form of divinely appointed, special reincarnation. It would have been interesting to hear their explanation for this belief because Bible doctrine doesn’t support this idea. I guess things don’t change. Then, and now, people that are basically Bible believing, believe in concepts that aren’t supported by scripture.
Jesus then follows up his first question with another more important one, “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered for all the disciples when he said, “You are the Christ.”
Up until this time Jesus had been careful to not discuss this explosive topic so the disciples didn’t come to this conclusion because of Jesus’ teaching. The Jewish leaders were investing their energy in trying to prove that Jesus is a liar and a fraud so the disciples didn’t get this idea from them. The disciples conclusion was the product of Holy Spirit led reflection upon the prophecies about the Messiah. In fact, in the gospel of Matthew Jesus is recording saying that it was, indeed, the Holy Spirit that had taught them this truth.
Today, Jesus’ second question remains of primary importance in the lives of his disciples. “Who do you say I am?”
Don’t let the experiences of others drive your answer to this question. It’s too important a question. Jesus invites each one of us to possess our own relationship with him. From this relationship, combined with the words of scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit you need arrive at you own answer. If you do this I believe that, like the disciples 2000 years ago, you’ll come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Christ.