Have you decided who Jesus is?
That was the question I asked repeatedly to the students at the school where I was doing a week of spiritual emphasis a few weeks ago. I asked them the same question every day for five days. On the last day I spent some time with them in Mark 4 and 5. We looked at how the Pharisees labeled Jesus "The Prince of Demons" because he was casting out demons. Then we looked at how Jesus’ family came to take him away because, they said, "He is out of his mind." In other words, they thought he was crazy. Last, we looked at the bleeding, demon-possessed man living in the tombs who cried out, "I know who you are; you are the son of God! Have you come to torture us before the appointed time?"
My point was simple: Either Jesus is a demon, or he is crazy, or he is who he says he is. Have you decided who he is? Many of the students came forward and wept, confessing sins and testifying that they had never decided who Jesus is. The more time I spend with people, the more I see that this is the heart of the issue. People's issues about heaven or hell, or suffering or injustice, or homosexuality or heterosexuality, or whatever all become secondary issues when one asks the question, "Have you decided who He is?"
The other day I was reading a quote by Lesslie Newbegin where he said that people like to have conversations about the idea of truth, but when truth walks into the room, all other conversations have to stop. I think this is how it is with a lot of the conversations I hear happening. While so much airtime is taken up debating this or that issue – I just wonder, if Jesus were to walk into the room, would that conversation even continue? I think that most of my conversations would cease, my jaw would drop to the floor, and I'd worship.
Today is Easter, the day we remember who Jesus is. He’s the one who passes through walls (John 20:19-31) yet can still eat food (Luke 24:41-43). He’s the one who appeared to over 500 people after his resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6) and let people touch him so they’d have no doubts (John 20:27, 1 John 1:1). He’s either got to be who he says he is (John 14:6) or else we have no hope (1 Cor. 15:17).
The next time you get into a debate with someone about some sort of subject pertaining to Christianity, just ask, "Have you decided who Jesus is?" I bet it will change everything.