Today’s Scripture: Luke 9:18-50; SOAP / Luke 9:20
The Two Questions
Today’s passage includes two questions that Jesus asked the disciples. The first was, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” The disciples replied that some thought He was “John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others that one of the prophets of long ago has risen.” Then Jesus asked the disciples – but who do You say that I am? There was only one answer to this question, and it was given by Peter, who said – “The Christ of God.” Both questions were important but the second one was vital – not because Jesus needed to know, for as we’ve seen in other passages He knew the hearts and minds (Luke 5:22) of those around Him. I believe He asked the question because He wanted them to enter into a relationship with Him and that meant it had to be personal. They still had much to learn about Him and from Him but they could not bank their beliefs on the beliefs of others. The disciples needed to know who Jesus was to them before they could truly share Him with others or do miracles in His name, (Luke 9:1).
Who Do You Say He Is?
Our Scripture reading today, and many of those we’ve looked at over the past three weeks and those still to come, are good reminders for us to have our own ‘statement of faith’. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. You can borrow the words from your churches statement of faith. However you do it , the idea is to make your faith personal, so that you are ready with an answer for the HOPE that is within you, a declaration of “who you believe and say Jesus is”. Was He just a teacher or a prophet like Elijah? Or, is He the eternal, living Son of God, your Savior? What is it you believe? Do you believe He died for you … was dead … buried …. and rose again. Do you believe that His blood was sufficient for all of your sins – past, present, and future? Do you believe He can love the most evil and vilest offender? Do you believe once you are saved you are always saved and salvation through Christ allows you a relationship with God? What is it that you believe? It should be clarified that no true statement of faith can be made without the Word of God as its foundation.
My Statement of Faith
I believe that Jesus, born of the virgin Mary, is the son of God. I believe He was sent out of the love and the power of God to save the world from their sins, John 3:16. I believe that without Him I would be condemned unclean and destined for an eternal hell – but that with Him, through faith in Him, I am now a redeemed child of God*! I am forever forgiven because Christ gave up His life for mine, shedding His own blood for me. I believe He died on the cross in my place, was dead – buried – and raised to life on the third day. I believe that He walked again on the earth and then ascended into Heaven where He now sits at the right hand of God’s throne interceding with the Father – for me, and for all who are His. I believe that none of this is by works that I have done, ever will or even can do – but solely and profoundly by God’s grace alone – through faith alone.
*Romans 3:23, 5:8; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Ephesians 1:7; John 10:18
Response to God’s Word
Father, thank You for loving the world so much that you gave Your only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. Thank You for teaching us to be prepared with an answer for the hope that we have. Thank You for making us lights of this hope to the world around us so that ALL might share in the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Help us to stand firm and to faithfully shine as lights in this dark and often foreboding world – Amen, in Jesus’ name
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