Skip to main content

Who vs. What

Who are you? If someone asked you that question today, how would you respond? You might start with telling the person your name, but then you may launch into a little 'description' of yourself, such as "I am a nurse, working in the Quality Improvement department of a large metropolitan hospital." We might be full-time stay at home moms raising two boys, or out in the day to day workforce 'bringing home the bacon' in some form. So, when someone asks who we are, we tell them we are an accountant, restaurant manager, author, or housekeeper. Now, describe who your best friend is - go ahead, their name and a little about that person. It is not uncommon that we associate 'who' we are with 'what we do' in life. If that is the case, I wonder what Simon Peter was really saying about Jesus when he made this observation about Christ:

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)

If we gravitate toward describing what we 'do' in life as the way we describe 'who' we are, then Peter was really giving us some insight into what others could observe about Jesus in his day to day life. He clearly describes Jesus as the CHRIST, the SON of the LIVING GOD. At first, that may just seem like an acknowledgement of something 'good' in Jesus that he was trying to describe, but I think it goes much deeper. Peter clearly had insight into the real character of Christ - he acknowledges more than a 'profession' or 'career', because he would have called Christ a preacher, teacher, or even a carpenter if that were the case.

CHRIST comes from the Greek word meaning the 'anointed one' or 'chosen one' - the same word in Hebrew we translate as "Messiah". He was therefore acknowledging Jesus as one that had a great anointing upon his life - chosen for a purpose, to fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies and to redeem mankind from their sin. The Son of the Living God just goes a little further to describe the 'lineage' of Jesus, something quite common in the days when Peter spoke these words. It was common to say, "I am Jesse, son of Obed, the grandson of Boaz and Ruth", giving a little historical accounting of your 'lineage'. Lineage 'linked' you with 'origin' - so Peter is going way beyond saying Jesus is the son of Mary and Joseph, but sees his true lineage - the Son of the LIVING God.

Peter wasn't focusing on the 'what' when he described Jesus - but rather the 'who' - God's LIVING Son. That word 'living' has a special purpose in this description because he could have merely said Jesus was the "Son of God". He chooses to acknowledge Jesus was God in the flesh, come down to earth, taking on the human form of man, LIVING among man that he might take upon himself the sin of all mankind. "What" Jesus was on this earth to do was foremost in Peter's mind as he acknowledges Christ - he was the Messiah - the Redeemer - the Chosen One - the Perfect Lamb. All descriptors of WHAT Jesus was about to do for not only Peter, but all of those who would put their trust in Jesus. Next time you think about who Jesus is, maybe it would be good to remember what he is, as well. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Hey, I am having a hard time seeing

The division in our country just amazes me sometimes, but then I need to come back to reality and remember we are humans and humans sometimes don't act so well when we get together in the same sandbox. There will always be those in life we just don't see eye-to-eye with. The very fact we are each individuals, given to our own special talents and unique method of reasoning makes us "individuals". It is much easier being around people who all believe the same way we do, isn't it? There is less friction, everything going a little smoother. I wonder what WE learn in those moments of time when we are with someone who just "grates" at us - who doesn't think exactly as we do, getting a little too close to being 'on the other side' of the issue from us. You know the one I mean - just never seeing things from any other perspective than their own. They "get our goat", don't they? Be truthful! You know they do! Welcome with open arm

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us. We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledg