Inspired by Mark 8:27-30
“Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’” Mark 8:27-29 (NRSV)
Many people who have heard of Jesus have opinions about him, even (or especially) if they do not know him or believe in him. Some people in the modern world dismiss him merely as an historical figure who—quite by accident—achieved a notoriety he did not deserve. Others consider him a revolutionary figure—again strictly historical—whose teachings might have some limited value today. Still others afford him the status of prophet, or wise teacher, or fictional character, or convenient catch-all for all that is good or ill in the world. And that list just barely scratches the surface.
The non-believing population will always have opinions about who Jesus is, and the non-believing population will usually outnumber the believing population. However the tide of popular opinion does not change who Jesus really is—he is the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the world.
Our confession of Jesus as Messiah affects how we live in the world, and living in the grace of salvation is all the more important when so many around us are lacking faith. Even if yours is the lone voice confessing Jesus as Messiah, your confession and the life you live as a result of it can change the opinion of others. No mere historical figure or fictional character can inspire such a transformation that the Christian way of life can demonstrate. But because Jesus is indeed the Messiah, he has the ability to transform our lives extraordinarily.
Let us pray. Lord our Savior, you came not to save a few, but to save the world. Embolden us to proclaim your name, that others may recognize you as Messiah. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.