I give the crowd credit for zeroing in on a very important question – maybe the most important question we can ask in life: “Who is Jesus?” (If only the leaders were asking that same question, but they seem to have concluded that Jesus is first and foremost a threat and must be silenced.) Some folks, at least, seem to be genuinely seeking, pondering, observing and trying to put it all together.
They draw on what they think they know. Where Jesus comes from. What the leaders have said about him. What is ‘common knowledge’ about the appearance of the Christ – proving again that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Then there’s what they have observed: the miraculous works Jesus has done, his teaching, the character they have seen in him – his integrity, resolution, kindness, compassion, and devotion.
Jesus refuses to soft-pedal his claims to make them more palatable. He speaks hard, confusing truth, and trusts in the work of the Spirit to draw people to him. He isn’t user-friendly. He isn’t seeker sensitive. He is simply and profoundly who he is, and no other. He is inviting, “Don’t merely wonder about me – come to me, believe in me, and know me.”
Many do believe, and the leaders with a vendetta against him are galvanized into action out of fear the crowd will be swayed. They are wary of public opinion, as many still are today. To them, appearances count for more than integrity does.
Questions: Who do you say that Jesus is?
How has this affected your life?
Are you willing to set aside what you think you know, and ask Jesus to make himself known to you?
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that we can come to you with our questions, our doubts, and our confusion. Teach us to sit in your presence and listen to your voice until our spirits align with your Spirit and we know your peace.