Human relationships are a big part of our life. Relationships allow us to get to know other people. Most of us are social by nature—that’s how God created us. And because we are social, we generally seek out relationships.
But sometimes it’s hard for us to figure out some people. We don’t know what to make of them. Maybe they’re shy or withdrawn. Maybe they are extremely private or introverted. People who fall into these categories are difficult to get to know. Sometimes we may get a little frustrated with these people. They seem to us that they could be interesting, but they are so hard to penetrate.
Employers attempt to get to know those who seek employment with them. They usually require an application, references, and an interview. This is to help them determine whether or not a person will be a good fit at the company. Unfortunately, employers don’t always get the person they were hoping to get. They thought they had somewhat of a handle on the person they were hiring, but that turned out not to be true. They weren’t able to get to know the person they were hiring as well as they had wanted. As a result, the relationship between the employer and employee didn’t develop in a positive way as had been hoped.
I’ve heard time and time again, "He wasn’t the person I thought he was. I never thought he would act that way…or say that…or do that." We don’t always know people like we think we do. We make that mistake from time to time. What we see on the outside of a person doesn’t always correspond with what’s on the inside.
To know someone is more difficult than we think. That’s all a part of living in an imperfect world. What more can I say.
It was difficult in Jesus’ day for people to get to know each other, as well. In our text Jesus asked His disciples who did people say that He was. Judging by the response the disciples gave Jesus, many people weren’t sure. The one thing we can conclude, though, is that they thought Jesus was more than just an ordinary person. Most thought He was a prophet.
Jesus wanted people to get to know Him. There was nothing that He wanted to keep secret about Himself. He wanted people to understand that He was the Son of God. The problem was that people had a hard time taking Him at His word. To this day many people have a hard time taking Jesus at His word. They still question who He was and still don’t know who He is.
The Bible makes it very clear who Jesus was. He was the Son of God who came into the world to die on the cross and rise from the dead to forgive us our sins and save us from eternal damnation. Jesus doesn’t want to hide this fact from anyone. Moreover, He was both God and man. This truth is also very clear in the Bible. Jesus did supernatural acts to prove that He was indeed divine, and did what all human beings do to show that He was a human being as well. There is no question who Jesus was. He revealed Himself for the world to see. He wanted people to get to know Him because it meant and means life forever with Him.
Maybe there are times when we think it is hard to get to know Jesus, that He isn’t being open with us. All we know about Him comes from a book. It’s hard for us to experience him on an emotional level. We’re just given the facts about His life on earth. It’s impossible for us to get any closer to Him. Because of this, it’s hard for us to grasp the idea of a relationship with Jesus—on a deep level. And so He doesn’t mean as much to us as He would if He were in our midst. We can only get so close to Him. This is what we think.
I wish we’d have a deeper passion for the Bible because the Bible tells us who Jesus is. Reading the Bible is a way for us to get to know our Savior and know what He is all about. He is God’s Son who came into the world to make things right between us and God Almighty. God has revealed this truth to us in the Scriptures which ought to serve as the basis of our relationship with Jesus.
I watch some TV programs and read books of those who express their thoughts about who Jesus was. They have all kinds of ideas. But very few take into account what the Bible tells us. That’s where they make a big mistake. Without the Bible’s shedding light on Jesus, people are left with a man-made Jesus, so to speak. He is what each person wants Him to be. But that’s not the real Jesus. The real Jesus is in the Bible. If we turn to the Bible we can know who Jesus really is, which is the Lord and Savior of the world.
I encourage us not to doubt this and not to rely on man-invented myths about Jesus. They don’t tell us who Jesus really is. Only the Bible does.
Properly understanding who Jesus is and having a relationship with Him is necessary for salvation. If we think He is just an ordinary person, our salvation is in jeopardy. If we think that Jesus never became a man, our salvation is in jeopardy. Now granted, there are some mysteries surrounding Jesus that we will never understand, such as how could He be both God and man at the same time. God doesn’t ask us to understand it but simply to believe it, because if we don’t our salvation will not come to fruition on the Last Day.
Jesus is truly God’s divine Son who came into the world to save us from our sins and make us holy before our heavenly Father.
There are usually the questions, why is pastor telling me this? Why do I need to know what he is telling me? Why do I need this information?
There are many false ideas about who Jesus was circulating in the world. If we aren’t on our guard, we can easily buy in to them. We need to have a firm understanding of who Jesus was so that we won’t lose our salvation. Moreover, we need to be on guard when it comes to our own individual thinking on Jesus. Often times, we come up with our own misguided ideas of who Jesus might have been. We rely on our own use of reason instead of trusting what the Bible says and letting it guide our thinking. We won’t come to know who Jesus really is if we rely on our own ideas instead of letting the Bible guide our thinking.
Let’s go to extreme lengths to get to know more about Jesus by turning to the Bible. Sometimes we go to extreme lengths to get to know people we might be interested in. We’ll take them out to eat, plan things with them, talk with them. What about Jesus? And He’s much more important to get to know.
I want to turn our attention briefly to what Jesus says at the end of our text. He tells the disciples not to tell anyone that He is the Christ. This seems to contradict everything I’ve said up to this point. I’ve said that Jesus revealed Himself to the world and didn’t hold back telling the world who He was. Now we have this verse. What’s going on here.
It might be that Jesus didn’t want His disciples to tell anyone He was the Christ because He might be killed before His appointed time. The religious leaders would try to rid themselves of Him—which of course they eventually did but not before the appointed time. Another reason might have been that many people would suddenly flock to Him and His movement in the region would be severely restricted. That would have hindered His ministry.
Jesus certainly wanted the world to know that He was the Savior of the world. He wouldn’t have allowed the Bible to have been written if that weren’t the case.
I hope we can with confidence say that Jesus, who was both God and man, is our Lord and Savior. That’s who He truly is. And because He is who He is, we will be saved from being cut off from God forever.