You are Invited To A Messiah Reveal Party: The Reveal Party That We All Must Have

Posted: January 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

Luke 9:18-21 — Gender reveals are a new in-thing. Today in this decade it has become increasing popular for the parents-to-be of a yet to be born baby to have what has come to be called a “gender reveal party.” At this party, there is a dramatic build-up to when the parents-to-be reveal the gender of their unborn baby to the families and friends. It’s a cool idea and it is about revelation. It is about revealing something that nobody else knows until that moment of revelation. These kinds of parties remind of today’s passage. It is a Messiah reveal party.

This is a watershed moment for the disciples. It is the Messiah reveal party moment. Jesus asks them first who do people say that I am and then more pointedly who do YOU say that I am. There are several things that we can take from this passage. First, do you see that Jesus uses an “I am” reference here. Second, there comes a time when we have to say who Jesus is to us. In the end, we must either accept or reject Jesus Christ. There is no middle ground. We must make a choice.

The first thing that I have noticed here is that there is some word play going on here. Jesus loved word play. The camel and the eye of the needle were words in Hebrew that were spelled either the same way or almost exactly in the same way in the Hebrew and it was up to an ancient Israelite to determine the context and thus the meaning of the word. Jesus was brilliant in that illustration with his word play. Here, He does it again. Ending the phrase with words that translate to English as “I AM”. He phrases the question in way that so that it ends with “I am.” I don’t think from what I have read on this passage that the “I am” that was used here was the Yahweh “I am” but the irony of the phrasing cannot be passed up here as Jesus trying to get his sometimes clueless disciples to clue in. The phrase that translate to “I AM” in English is how God identifies himself when Moses asks for God what he should call Him. I AM then becomes the way that God identifies himself. I AM. There can be no mistaking what that means when that phrase is used. John uses the phrase quite frequently throughout his gospel. I AM is the name of God. The Great I Am, He is sometimes called. Jesus by implication here is trying to clue the disciples in on what the proper response be. Jesus is God. He is the Great I Am. The disciples are standing in the presence of God in the flesh. Jesus and the Father are One. He is I AM.

He ask the question of the disciples. Who do the people say I am? Then again, and more personally, who do you say that I am? As Dr. Ralph Wilson says in “Peter’s Great Confession, “so you can probably list various theories about Jesus. Jesus was a remarkable teacher. Jesus was a prophet. Jesus was a man who believed himself to be the Messiah. Jesus was the founder of the Christian religion. Jesus was a compassionate and powerful healer. Jesus was an anti-establishment political revolutionary. Those are some of the leading theories, the kind of theories you might learn in a college religion course.” The disciples could quote what others were saying about Jesus. We can even sit in church for 30 years and quote all the right things about Jesus and not have to commit to a real answer. But after the disciples had voiced the various theories and speculations that swirled about Jesus, they were silent. And then Jesus asked them a personal question: “Who do YOU say I am?” Ultimately, this is a question we must answer ourselves. We get through life telling people about all the things that have been said about Jesus. We can even know Scripture and quote Jesus’ saying from Scripture word for word, but not know Jesus. It is possible to be in church all of our lives and keep our academic distance from Jesus. We can have all this great historical perspective on Jesus. We can be a Jesus fan and have every cool academic new look book at Jesus and there have been thousands of those through the centuries. We can know all about Jesus but not know Jesus. We can have written papers, blogs, and Facebook posts that make us sound like we know Jesus but not really know Him at all. The question comes for us all, from Jesus, “Who do YOU say that I am?” He demands an answer.

Even other religions all have to answer this question to the most important life ever lived. Islam has to answer the question and they try. Judaism has to answer the question. Hinduism. Buddhism. Bahai. You name the religion, they have a position on Jesus. Funny that Christianity does not have a position at all on the founders of these or any other religion. I stray from the point a bit, but it shows you that no matter who you are you must answer this question from Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus, throughout the New Testament is cloaked in the term I AM and He uses it to reference Himself on several occasions. He is unequivocal in saying that He and the Father are One. You can conjecture and say that He was saying that He was like-minded with God but understanding Scripture, language, context, Jesus is saying that He is God. He and the Father are One. There is no mistaking it. How do you respond? Who do you say that I am?

Are you like Peter whose confession is the rock upon which Jesus would build his church? Do you confess that Jesus Christ is the Messiah? It is similar to being a fiancee to the man who ask you to marry him. You are free to leave and walk away until you say “I do”. With that I do, you are committed! You are all-in. You move from being a fiancee to a wife. The same is true for the fiance to husband transition. Do you say Jesus that Jesus is Messiah. Do you confess with your mouth, like a bride to be or a husband to be confesses publicly to commit to his/her spouse, that Jesus Christ is Lord. Do you have the faith to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and was physically resurrected from the dead? If you have the faith to say these things, then Jesus has been revealed to you. The veil is pulled back. The Messiah reveal party has reached its climax. Who do you say that I am, Jesus asks. He is the Great I AM. Reveal party concluded.

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