Jesus started his ministry on earth teaching from the Old Testament scriptures. The first reading we hear from him is this: from Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed and to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners…’ After he had read this he left the synagogue and went about fulfilling these words.
When we read the Gospels, we are reading the story of Jesus in the flesh encountering others with good news. We learn what he did and what he talked about and the trouble this caused him. We see how people reacted to him both good and bad. Many rejoiced in the Good news. because it addressed issues at the core of humanities existence: suffering, evil, life, death and more. Then there were many who were suspicious of him and his motives.
Imagine what it must have been like to see people actually get healed from blindness, deafness, seeing the disabled walking. What would it be like to be a prostitute about to be stoned to death only to see people drop rocks because of a spoken word: “He who is without sin cast the first stone!” One day after feeding 5000 people in a miraculous way, Jesus and his disciples went on their way. When they had settled in for the night, Jesus asks these questions: “Who do people say that I am?” They reply, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the other prophets who has come back to life.” Then Jesus asks, “But what about you?” Who do you say that I am? (Matt 16:13-20)
Today I want to ask a similar question: Who is Jesus for you?
To begin to address the question people often realize that one question raised others such as: What do I believe about Jesus? How do I understand Jesus? Was Jesus really crucified and buried…then rose again? When Jesus asked the disciples, “who do you think I am? Or who am I to you? Only The Apostle Peter spoke up and said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of God”. Jesus said to him, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you. (Matt 13:20)
Phoenix Rising UCC is on a quest to know who Jesus is for us. We are not afraid to ask if Jesus really is the Son of God, Did Jesus really heal the sick and did he really rise for the dead? Is he really the Savoir (Messiah)? And if all this is true can Jesus become as real to us as Peter? The truest answer will come in the form of a revelation as it did for Peter. To get to know someone you can’t just talk about yourself. You have to ask a lots of questions and listen for the answers.
So, who is Jesus for you? I invite you to share your thoughts, your doubts, your impressions and your questions. If you can answer this question: Who is Jesus for you. Please share, many would love to hear your story.