“Who Do You Say That I Am?”

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During the earthly ministry of Jesus, He asks His disciples an important question:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people 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 answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
“And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
-Matthew 16:13-18 (see also Mark 8:27, Luke 9:18)

 
Three times in the Gospel account, God Himself speaks from heaven endorsing His Son Jesus Christ:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?”  But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
-Matthew 3:13-17 (see also Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22)

And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If You wish, I will make three tents here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”  And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
-Matthew 17:1-8 (see also Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35)

“Now My soul has become troubled; yet what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” So the crowd that stood there and heard it were saying that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for yours.”
-John 12:27-30

Peter recalls the experience he witnessed while on the mountain with Jesus:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
-2 Peter 1:16-18

 

Jesus Christ: the Word and Image of God the Father

Word became flesh 2

Jesus Christ is God’s ultimate form of communicating and revealing Himself to us.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.
-Hebrews 1:1-3

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him
-Colossians 1:15-17,19

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
-2 Corinthians 4:4

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
-1 Timothy 2:5

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” which translated means, “God with us.”
-Matthew 1:23

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him was not anything made that has been made.
-John 1:1-3

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
-John 1:14

No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
-John 1:18

So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own authority, but speak just as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
-John 8:28-29

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees Him who sent Me.”
-John 12:44-45

“For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father who sent Me has Himself given Me a commandment- what to say and what to speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told Me.”
-John 12:49-50

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does his works.”
-John 14:7-10

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority
-Colossians 2:8-10

What is a disciple?

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dis·ci·ple

a. a person who is a convinced pupil or adherent of the doctrines of an individual.
b. one who embraces and assists in spreading the teaching of another.

Synonyms: follower, learner, apprentice, pupil
 
The term “disciple” literally translated from the Greek word mathetes, means to be “a learner.”
 
Discipleship is the process of learning the teachings of another, internalizing them and then acting upon them.
 
To be a disciple of Jesus Christ we must learn what Jesus taught. Then more importantly we must act on those teachings. 
A disciple is not simply an accumulator of information in regards to the teachings of Jesus Christ, but one who bases their lives on His teachings.
This is how we determine if we have truly committed our lives to Christ- if we begin taking seriously His commands and actually putting them to practice in our lives.
 
All those who believed and followed Christ were called ‘disciples’- Acts 6:1-2, 7

Paul originally persecuted the disciples of Christ – Acts 9:1,26

the disciples were first called ‘Christians’ in Antioch – Acts 11:26

Jesus said, 
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”  -Luke 6:40

 The translation ‘fully trained’ is the Greek word Katartizo which means ‘to be made complete, perfect’

 
It is unscriptural to teach that a person can be a ‘Christian’ and not be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In Luke 6:46 Jesus sharply rebukes those who were incorrectly addressing Him as “Lord” when they were not obeying His words.

 “Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” -Luke 6:46

 
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” -John 14:15

 “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him.” 
-John 14:21

 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word ; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
-John 14:23

 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” 
-Luke 14:27

Authority Over Spiritual Wickedness

Jesus casting out spirit

Au·thor·i·ty
Noun
The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience
Synonyms: power, control, warrant

He called His twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and sickness.
-Matthew 10:1

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you.”
-Luke 10:19

And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out demons.
-Mark 3:14-15

They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
-Mark 1:27

Lord, liar, or lunatic?

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With the many outlandish, and controversial claims that Jesus of Nazareth made about Himself, which also lead to His death, He must fall into one of these three categories.

 Option 1) Lord: Jesus was who He claimed to be, that is, the Christ, the only begotten Son of God. The spotless lamb who was sent to take away the sins of the world. Who had the authority to forgive sins. The only way to the Father. He & the Father were one.

 Option 2) Liar: Jesus was not who He claimed to be and knew that He wasn’t. This would make him a liar, a charlatan, a counterfeit who deceived many into abandoning their lives, and following Him. He also taught these followers to instruct others in the same teachings. Many of these followers were martyred for these beliefs. Therefore He could not simply could not have been a good moral teacher.

 Option 3) Lunatic: Jesus was not who He claimed to be, but didn’t know that He wasn’t. This would make Him a lunatic, a madman who actually believed all these outrageous qualities about Himself were true.