September 17, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Others said, ‘He is Elijah.’ And still others claimed, ‘He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.’ But when Herod heard this, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!’”—Mark 6:14–16 (NIV)
Who is Jesus?
For centuries, this question has been at the forefront of human history and civilization. Even today, this question is as relevant as it was 2,000 years ago.
In today’s passage, we see King Herod ponder who Jesus is after hearing the buzz. He inquired to see who people thought He was. And we’re told, “Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Others said, ‘He is Elijah.’ And still others claimed, ‘He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.’”
Now, for Herod, the idea that Jesus was John the Baptist returned was troubling. Why? Because he had John beheaded at the behest of his daughter and wife. He was worried about John the Baptist coming back from the dead because of how it could affect him.
This shows us something we often fall prey to; something we often do that we shouldn’t: Herod stopped short of discovering the truth about who Jesus was and is. He didn’t dive deeply enough into the matter of this all-important question because it wasn’t convenient to him. It had the potential to bring forth uncomfortable truth and the need for wholesale changes.
So many people stop short of finding out the truth about who Jesus is, what the answer to who Jesus is means, and how it changes everything for them and for the entire world. Why? Because, if it’s true that God is real and we are sinners who are accountable to Him and must answer for our lives, then it impacts the way we live. If it’s true that Jesus is God in the flesh, and that He is our only way to salvation and redemption, then we have to rely on Him and we’re not in control of our lives or circumstances.
But here’s the thing: How this truth affects our lifestyles is not as important as the truth itself, the truth of who Jesus is! He is God! He is the Savior! He is the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Judge, King, and Lord of all! And because this is who He is, we must willingly lay down our lives and will and agendas and lifestyles to follow and draw near to Him. He is everything! And guess what? While following Jesus will undoubtedly mean life change and some possible discomfort, it also means we can trade our convenient, comfortable, sinful, doomed existence for abundant life, wholeness, identity, belonging, purpose, peace, satisfaction, joy for today, and hope for eternity. It means we get to experience life as we were created to experience it—in the presence of Jesus; in relationship with our loving and good Creator.
Pause: Why is the question, “Who is Jesus?” the most important question of all time? How can you point people to the truth about this question?
Practice: Who is Jesus to you? Write down the answer in a journal or a document on your computer. Describe Him, His character, His nature, His work, and what He means to you!
Pray: Father, thank You for showing me who You are by sending Your Son to draw me to Himself and to You! Thank You for who You are, Lord! Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.