Who is Jesus, to you?
August 6, 2012
by Rev. David R. Erbel, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

Our identity is very important to us. If you have ever been a victim of identity theft, you know the uneasy feeling of having someone misusing your identity.

Or, have you ever been mistaken for someone else? Mistaken identity is not an uncommon thing.

People have often been confused in regard to Jesus. Was the Christ a teacher, or a troublemaker? A savior – the world’s Redeemer? Or humanity’s greatest and most successful deceiver?

Who is Jesus? If He is the only Way for us to be forgiven of our sins, the only Road who leads to heaven (and He is), then we would be wise to believe on Him. On the other hand, if He is nothing more than an incredibly successful story teller and miracle worker, then He ought to be dismissed.

Who is Jesus; what do you think? I think this is not the time for mistaken identity.

I’m not asking what you think about Jesus as a teacher, or a healer, or a philosopher. I’m asking, “Is He your crucified and risen Savior?”

If you want to find out something about a person, the best way to do so is to talk to those who know him. Let’s begin by speaking to Jesus’ enemies as we find in the Bible.

Let’s ask the Pharisees, upstanding leaders of their community. They always found fault in what Jesus said and did. Their biggest criticism was “This Man received sinners.”

Jesus associated with sinners? Thank God He did! If Jesus hadn’t associated with sinners – if He hadn’t reached out to us, rescued and redeemed us – what would have happened to us?

As they huddled at the foot of Jesus’ cross, the Pharisees called out this challenge: “Jesus, You saved others, why is it You can’t save Yourself?”

No one can argue with that. If Jesus had gotten down off that cross, if He had come down and walked away, His mission of rescuing humanity from sin, death, and the devil would have been incomplete – and we would remain in our sins.

Still, there is another voice in the Bible who needs to be heard. Ask the Father in heaven,“Who is Jesus; what do You think?” In reply, God’s voice thunders from above: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5).

The Bible shares the thoughts of those who hated Jesus, and the thoughts of those who loved Him. Those humans are gone. Their lives on earth have ended. Now, there is only one question which remains: “What do you think of Jesus – who is He?”

Saving you was the singular and exclusive purpose of Jesus Christ. To save you, Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations. To save you, He kept the laws of God we all have broken. To save you, He took your sins to Himself. To save you, He died – He unfairly died – upon the cross of Calvary.

To show to a doubting world He has finished His work, He rose from the grave on the third day. Jesus lives, and He wants you to live also.

Daily, the Holy Spirit is calling you to faith. The Holy Spirit wants no mistaken identity when it comes to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit wants you to know, to believe Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Who according to His great mercy, has given us a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Amen. (from 1 Peter 1:3).