When I was growing up there was a popular TV show in Canada called Front Page Challenge. A panel of journalists had to guess the identity of a mystery guest. The mystery guest was usually a well-known person who was currently in the news. Guests could include famous musicians, politicians, authors and various types of celebrities. For the panel, the trick was to guess the identity of the person in as few questions as possible. The show ran for almost 30 years.
It’s similar to a party game that many people play today. The contestant is given a mystery identity and must ask questions to find out who he or she is. Basically players have to answer the question, “Who am I?”
Jesus asked similar questions of his disciples except he wasn’t in the dark about his identity. He asked his disciples two questions. First, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” (Luke 9:18) Jesus had been ministering for some time among the people. Yet, he remained somewhat vague about his identity and mission. People were beginning to form their own ideas about who he really was. Many thought he was a prophet come back from the dead.
Then Jesus asked his second question, “But who do you say that I am?” This is the key question that each person must answer. It doesn’t matter what the crowds say about Jesus. Their opinion is often wrong. What matters is whether or not we correctly understand who Jesus is.
Jesus has left a lot of evidence about who he is, what he has done and what he will do. Each one of us has to examine the evidence and come to a conclusion. Peter concluded that Jesus was “God’s Messiah.” (Luke 19:20)
Our life now and life in the future rests on how we answer this one simple question, “Who is Jesus?” He is either the savior of the world or he isn’t. There is no in-between answer.