By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“Whatever can stand before the face of the crucified God is true Christian theology. What cannot stand must disappear.”
– Jürgen Moltmann
I read these words on the internet the other day and it kind of blew my mind: Everyone has their own version of you in their mind. But none of them are the real you.
Whoa… Through encountering you and interacting with you, everyone has built up an image of who you are, what type of person you are, what you are like in their minds, but none of them can truly understand who you are.
And the same is true on the other side. We have an idea of everyone that we meet. We have a version in our mind of each person we encounter but I’m sure that our version pales in comparison to the complexity and intricacy of who that person really is.
Wouldn’t you like to know the version of you that everyone else has in their minds? Wouldn’t you like to know how close (or how far) they are to truly grasping who you really are?
Jesus asks a similar question of Peter. First, He asks him, “Who do people say that I am?” And Peter tells Jesus all the different theories and predictions. But then Jesus asks the crucial and more important question:
“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.’” (Mark 8:29).
What if God is asking the same question to each of us? Who do you say that I am? What version of Me do you have in your mind? Through your encounters with Me, through your reading about Me, through your relationship with Me, who do you say I am?
Who do we say that He is? Is He an angry vengeful God who destroys everyone in His path? Is He a God sits in heaven, resting his chin on his hands, tapping his fingers on the arm of His throne, waiting for the apocalypse? Is it a God who is out to get us? Is it a God who acts like a vending machine – push the button, say a prayer, get what you want? Who do you say that I am?
I think it is an important question to ask. Too often I feel that the image that we may have or others may have of God may not line up with who God truly is. We may say that He is John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets, but God is looking at us shaking His head, saying that we’ve got it all wrong.
The litmus test for figuring out if our image of God is correct is Jesus Christ. We know who God is because we see Him incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ. If who you say that God is does not line up with Christ, then that is not who God is.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to know who God is, if you want to know what He is like, if you want to know what makes Him angry, what breaks His heart. If you want to see who God really is, then look at the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
Who do you say that He is?