It’s the fundamental question every individual must answer. Who is Jesus? If you were to ask random people on the street that question, you are likely to get a variety of answers. The answers may range from Jesus was a prophet, a good teacher, a man who is a character in a story, he was not real, or he is Lord and Savior.
Jesus asked his disciples this same question.
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do men say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’” He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16)
We are all faced with that question. Jesus is asking us all that very same question and awaits our answer. Until we can answer the question “who is Jesus to you?”, the rest of the faith does not matter. If we believe that Jesus is anything other than the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, God incarnate, and Savior then nothing else in the faith matters. Without Jesus being all those things, and more, the faith crumbles.
Christianity hinges on Jesus being who He said he was and without that truth then Christianity crumbles. Christianity falls if Jesus is anything less than what He is proclaimed to be in Sacred Scripture. Your reception of the Sacraments does not matter if Jesus is not Lord. Your baptism does not matter if Jesus is not the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. Your confirmation has no impact on your life or your eternity if Jesus is not God incarnate. Your Confessions are just empty words and a waste of time if Jesus is not the Savior.
“Jesus said to them (Jews), ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)
This may seem like a simple disagreement between Jesus and the Jewish leaders, which happened frequently. However, this is a defining moment where Jesus is placing himself as God. I AM is the name God gave himself when he first spoke to Moses in Exodus.
“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM” and he said, “Say this to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14)
When Jesus responds to the Jews by identifying himself as “I am”, the Jews would have immediately been taken back to Exodus where God identifies Himself as “I am.” As a result, the Jews would have recognized Jesus was calling himself God. If Jesus was referring to himself as the God of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, the God of the Jews, then Jesus was either a liar or the promised Messiah and Lord. Jesus cannot be a prophet, a good teacher, a great miracle worker, or a liar if He is Lord. Your answer to the question “Who is Jesus to me?” could determine your eternity. So, who is Jesus to you?