Settling on Jesus

As believers in God through the love and sacrifice of Christ our Savior, we are in a unique position as God's people. During the Lenten season, we are faced with life-altering decisions about how we are living our lives, specifically deciding on ways we become more faithful to God and be significantly better at following the example that Jesus set for us.

Jesus lived a life of love and care as he ministered to the people that he encountered. He also endured great suffering at the hands of religious people who did not believe him to be the Messiah nor wanted him to gain popularity as the very image of God in human form. If people began to believe that Jesus actually held those divine positions, those religious leaders' influence would be ever lessening until, and unless, they finally offered their own lives to Jesus, as God present among them, the Messiah who would lead them to life more abundantly.

So, I am remembering back to a time when I first decided who Jesus was to me personally. As I write these words, I remember that my takeaway from the life that Jesus lived was formed from what I read and believed in the Bible about him. More importantly, when I got older, I came to know Jesus intimately by developing a close and long-lasting relationship over the years since I first became a believer in God and a follower of Jesus as God in the flesh. I had to take a journey on my way to my own understanding of who Jesus is.

I remember the time when I first became aware that Jesus lived his life with the full knowledge that everything he thought, said, and did would eventually lead to people becoming closer to God and away from the temporary gods of this world; as well as upending the unjust power structures that those makeshift gods had erected to maintain their stranglehold on the minds and souls of humankind.

But I was missing two essential truths that I had not yet dealt with before I could clearly decide about who Jesus was to me personally. I was brought face to face with those essential truths in my prayers and after I read the Bible reading from Mark 8:31-38. I invite you to read this passage as well and see if there are any truths that you can draw from it that can inform how you define who Jesus is to you.

If you discover any truths, I ask that you answer one of these questions for yourself: Has the truth(s) you uncovered significantly changed your understanding of who Jesus is since you matured as a believer? Or, has the truth or truths that you discovered brought you any closer to a place of making a definitive decision about who Jesus is to you now? If you have not encountered any new truths, please pray that God helps you gain a deeper understanding of how to live out the truths that you have already learned from the passage. Amen.

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