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He might be Christ but who is Jesus?

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June 08, 2018

George Hemmings of Christ Church Anglican. Photo by Luke Hemer.

THROUGH the start of this year in our church community we’ve been looking at the gospel of Mark, one of the accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

One of the big themes that Mark unpacks in the first half of his book is the question: “Who is Jesus?”

It’s a question the crowds, the Scribes and Pharisees, and even the disciples, ask.

It runs underneath the debates about food, family and friends.

It sits behind the miracles and parables.

It’s a question we all have to grapple with. Who do we think Jesus is?

The famous theologian and author CS Lewis once wrote there’s three broad ways we can answer that question.

The first is to think Jesus was mad, just a fool with delusions of grandeur. Even Jesus’ own family thought this at one time (Mark 4:21).

The second is Jesus was bad, that he deliberately sought to mislead people, to fool them into following him. This is the conclusion at which the Scribes and Pharisees arrived.

But the third way is to believe Jesus was, and is, who he said he was, the Son of Man, the Messiah, the Son of God (Mark 8:29).

We shouldn’t be fooled into thinking this is just an intellectual question or just a theoretical, theological issue.

Every life that Jesus touches is transformed.

As people experience his love in action, they are changed.

We read in the gospel of Mark that for some this means physical healing or release from possession.

For others it means leaving family, friends and livelihoods in order to follow Jesus.

As people grapple with Jesus’ teachings and parables, they begin to understand what the kingdom of God is about and the light of the gospel opens their minds.

This transforms then how we approach the world around us and every aspect of how we live while we wait for Jesus’ return.

There are a few challenges here for us.

The first is to face up to the question of who Jesus is.

Not just who we think he is, or imagine he’s like, but who he really is.

To really answer that question, we have to look to where God reveals himself to us, which is first and foremost in the Bible, and then secondly in his people, the church.

We then need to ask ourselves how much we’re allowing God to work within us, to transform us by the light, life and love of Jesus.

The final challenge for us is to ask how we are showing the light, life and love of Jesus to others so that they too might be transformed?

How does our life represent the life of Jesus?

How are we sharing the good news so that others might see the light?

How are we showing the love of God to others in all that we say and do?

Who is Jesus to you and how are you living this out?

George Hemmings

Christ Church Anglican

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