Text: Luke 9.18-20
Some people react negatively to the word “theology” and many more avoid conversations concerning the nature of Jesus. Perhaps the topic’s too uncomfortable or too controversial. Nevertheless, everyone who reads the Bible is a “theologian” because we all believe something about God and Jesus. In today’s reading, Jesus addresses this notion head-on when he asks, “Who do the crowds say I am” (Luke 9.18)?
The crowds obviously had strong opinions about Jesus. So did the religious leaders who later strike up heated debates with Jesus over taxes, life after death, and his divinity. The Pharisees (middle-class Jewish religious leaders) and Sadducees (wealthy Jewish aristocrats) believed Jesus to be a fraud. They conspired together against him with theological attacks in hopes he might “slip up,” thus discrediting him among his followers or getting arrested by the Roman authorities.
This week we’ll explore three debated questions and notice how Jesus responds to each.
You may not be as antagonistic toward Jesus as the religious leaders were; you may actually consider yourself a follower of Jesus. But that doesn’t exclude you from the conversation. The question Jesus asked his disciples, and asks us today, is “Who do you say I am” (Luke 9.20)?
As you meditate on this passage today, ask yourself this week’s One Big Question . . . Who do you believe Jesus is and how is this belief displayed in your life? Discuss with your small group, your family during dinner, or a trusted friend.