Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who Am I?

Has anyone ever come up to you and said, “Who are you?” What was your answer? Who are you?
How many of you men have been brave enough to ask your wives this question, “Honey, how am I doing as your husband?” Don’t worry I haven’t done it either and it’s probably because I’m afraid I’ll get an honest answer. I don’t know how I would handle that. Or let’s put the shoe on the other foot, how many of you wives have asked your husbands, “Honey, how am I doing as your wife?”
I would venture a bet that more wives have asked the question than any of us men. Face it men, we just can’t take the truth, to put it in the words of Jack Nicholson.
Another question that many of us should ask, and probably haven’t or maybe we have, is for our bosses or those we work for, “How am I doing in my work for you?” This is another question that is hard to ask because we aren’t sure we want to hear the answer.
The question today is, “who are you, who am I”. Or it may be who do people say that you are or who I am. Jesus asked the question and his followers had some answers.
I think he asks that same question of us, “Who do you say that I am?” I wonder how many different answers we’d get. Who is Jesus to you? Think about that. Friends, this is important stuff because how we answer tells us a lot about how well we know Jesus.
How do we answer that question today when we are talking to someone about our faith, our beliefs, or this community gathered here today? Who do we say Jesus is? Who do people say Jesus is when they see how we are living our lives?

Who Am I?
My mother was Mary.
I was born in Bethlehem.
A star shone over the manger where I was born.
Shepherds and Wisemen came to see me.
My Dad’s name was Joseph.
I grew up in the town of Nazareth.
My cousin was John the Baptizer.
I assembled a group of followers who travelled with me throughout Judea.
I ministered to those in need in Galilee, Judea, and Samaria.
I told people the kingdom of God was here.
My lifestyle upset the religious hierarchy of the day.
I called Jehovah “Abba”, Daddy, Papa.
I referred to myself as the Son of Man.
Peter said I was the Messiah, the Christ.
I was betrayed by one of my own followers.
Pilate ordered me flogged after releasing the criminal, Barrabas.
Soldiers cast lots for my clothes.
I was crucified on the hill called Golgotha.
I was buried in a sealed tomb guarded by two soldiers.
Three days later my tomb was found empty by Mary.
I appeared to my disciples and dined with them after my resurrection.
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Who do you say that I am?

The answers we give really depend on what kind of relationship we have with Jesus. Do we talk with him every day or do we only think about him on Sunday? That might make a difference in our description of Jesus. Have we given our very lives to him? Do we trust him enough to go wherever he leads us?
Friends, that’s what Paul was talking about to the Romans. We are to understand that we don’t bring anything to God he brings it to us. When we embrace everything that God did for us in sending his Son then we are changed from the inside out. We begin to establish the kind of relationship with Jesus that God intended for us.
Then when someone asks who Jesus is we have an answer. He is our brother. He is our friend. He is the one who knows us from the inside out. He cares for us. Our sins have been forgiven because of what he has done for us.
Who is Jesus to you? He is calling to each of us today. Can you hear him? Do you know him? He is the reason we are all here.
Thanks be to God for the gift of his Son Jesus. Amen.

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