“’Who do people say that I am?’…. ‘But who do you say that I am?’” (Mark 8:27-29, ESV).
Near the end of His ministry Jesus asked His disciples what people were saying about Him? Who did they think He was?
His disciples answered that some thought He was John the Baptist or one of the ancient prophets back from the dead.
Then Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was. Peter immediately responded that He was the Messiah. Apparently, that was the right answer because Jesus commanded His disciples to tell no one.
To Jesus it didn’t matter what people in general thought about Him. What mattered to Him was what His disciples in particular thought about Him.
So, it’s what YOU believe personally about Jesus that matters.
It’s personal! And, it matters what you believe!
Because you behave how you believe!
After establishing His Messiah-ship with His disciples, Jesus proceeded to tell His disciples that He would be handed over to the authorities, sentenced to death, executed and arise from the dead after three days.
Jesus didn’t explain these coming events to His disciples in parables. He told them definitively: “And he said this plainly” (vs. 32). These events would consecrate His Messiah-ship.
Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples. He told them all that if you were going to be His disciple, you must live a life of sacrificing your own will for God’s will. And you must live according to God’s will in front of other people whether they believe in Jesus or not.
For if you don’t truly believe it, then you won’t truly live it
What’s more, it matters for eternity: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (vs. 36-38).
Jesus is still asking His disciples today, “Who do you think that I am?”
While your belief or faith is personal, your actions and behavior are overt. And, if you don’t really, really believe it, then you won’t really, really live it….
In this world….
Or the world to come!
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, ESV)