Friday, July 06, 2007

Something with Meat, Please

So having been taunted by fellow blogger, David Stone, I thought that perhaps it's time for a post with a bit more meat in it. Looking back over the past couple of months, I can see that I haven't posted much in the way of anything very meaningful. Mostly, it's because I haven't felt like devoting the time it takes to do much more that report past happenings.

So here are some thoughts/rants from a study that I'm working on:

The topic is taken from a conversation that Jesus had with His closest followers and is found in the 16th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. I think that the questions that Jesus asks his followers then are questions that He asks us (assuming we are His close followers) now.

"Who do men say that I am?" is the first question that He asks.

I believe that it is important for us to know where others stand in regard to their belief of Jesus if we are to share with them the Jesus that we know. In the evangelism series Sharing Jesus Without Fear, the question is asked, "Who is Jesus, to you?" Something tells me that Jesus had a pretty good idea of what others were saying about Him.

Teachers always seem to be asking questions that they already know the answer to as a way of getting their students to investigate or as way to find out what we know. In battle, it is said, “Know your enemy.” Jesus wants for us to know what others are thinking. If we don’t know, we should ask. The question "Who is Jesus, to you?" is a way to let somebody express what they have heard and what they believe about Jesus.

This is not the point at which you begin to argue with them, criticize their opinions/beliefs or persuade them that you are right and they are wrong. You have asked them for information and they have given it to you. Be polite.

In the Bible, the disciples answered with things that they had heard others saying about Jesus. Maybe you've been listening to what others have been saying about Jesus. Maybe you've looked to what different religions are saying about Jesus. Maybe you are trying to figure out who this Jesus person really is. When so many experts are saying so many different things about who he is, who do you believe? How do you know who you can trust? What makes one religion right and another one wrong? And if you are the one sharing Jesus, why should anyone trust you?

These are all valid questions. The question "Who do men say that I am?" can have many different answers. But the second question that Jesus asks, "Who do you say that I am?" or the question that somebody else might ask you, "Who is Jesus to you?" can really have only one answer. And the reality of who Jesus is, also has only one answer.

I would encourage each reader to investigate the claims of the Bible. Investigate the claims of Jesus. I believe that it is vital for you to figure out this Jesus thing. I believe that it is a matter of life and death, of heaven and hell. I know that you may not even believe in heaven or hell. You may not believe in God or an afterlife. But if these things are real, then your not believing in them won't change the consequences of a God-less life.

If you have questions, ask. Feel free to e-mail me direct or to post a comment. I don't know all of the answers, but I'll gladly share what I believe to be true.


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