One day Jesus asked his disciples who people thought he was. They responded that most people assumed Jesus was a prophet of some sort. Then Jesus asked them point blank: “But what about you? . . . Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
Whether we realize it or not, every day we answer that question in the way we live.
When trouble and hardship come our way, who is Jesus? If we fret and despair, then we are like the disciples in the boat during the storm. Their Jesus was a man asleep in the boat who didn’t seem to care if they lived or died.
And when we find ourselves without the things we need to get through the day, who is Jesus? Are we scurrying around looking at the little we have and realizing there’s no way it will work? Or are we bringing him the two fish and five loaves of bread we have and praying for multiplication?
And when our prayers are answered with a no, who is Jesus? Is he a disappointment that no longer deserves our attention and praise, or is he our Lord and Savior whatever comes?
When we face a tough diagnosis, is Jesus just the man passing by on the street? Or is he the One we reach out to touch and call without ceasing, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”?
And when the people we care about slip into Satan’s traps, do we grumble and complain about their horrid habits? Or do we seek the God of angel armies who is strong enough to crush Satan’s schemes and pray for intervention?
When people hurt us with their thoughtless words and actions, Jesus either suffered and died for all sins or his sacrifice was too little for what we are going through.
Jesus is either the One who holds all things together, or we have no hope. He is the beginning and the end, or we are tragically without direction. If he is the provider, then we have no reason to grumble. And if he is just, we have no reason to be bitter. If he is almighty, then he foresaw the worst coming and allowed it to happen, so there must be a purpose and a plan.
If Jesus is good and loving and kind, then I can trust him. If he is the provider, then I don’t have to hold on to everything, because he can give me more, so much more.
Every reaction, every day tells the world who my Jesus is.
Oh, Lord, let my actions match my confession.
Amber Albee Swenson has authored four books, writes an occasional devotional blog, and is a regular contributor to several Christian organizations. In 2011 she started speaking to women with the intent of bringing the Bible to life in tangible, applicable ways.
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