Rumors were circulating about Jesus. Some people said He was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. Some might’ve also said he is a crazy man, a quack, or an inspired, brilliant teacher. They were asking the same question that we ask today. Who do we think Jesus is? How we answer that question lays out the foundation of our faith. In this message, we will be challenged as Jesus asks, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
Jesus made a religious and political challenge by riding a donkey into Jerusalem. People flocked to see the parade. Some lined the streets with their cloaks, others waved palm branches, and many sang Hosanna. This parade created a commotion. But unfortunately, that Jerusalem crowd misunderstood the arrival of Jesus. Jesus wasn’t going to be the king they expected. They wanted Churchill, but they got Gandhi. Before it was over, some of those who cried “Hosanna” on Sunday were shouting, “Crucify him” on Friday.
Who do people say that Jesus is? The Barna Research organization reports that nine in ten American adults say Jesus was a real person, but only 56% believe Jesus is God. The question was so important that Jesus takes a poll and asks his disciples what they heard others say. Their answers vary. Then he asks his disciples what they think. Of course, it is Peter who hits the nail on the head.
The word “Jesus” means “God saves.” So anytime we say the name Jesus we are saying God saves. He is the deliver. His name says He is Savior. He liberates us. He rescues us. If that is so then what does that really mean?