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Have you ever watched “Family Feud” on TV? The game show is currently hosted by Steve Harvey, a high-energy, multi-talented fellow who has as much fun as any of the contestants. But I can show my age by remembering the original host was a much more low-key, dapper gentleman named Richard Dawson. But the key to the show is its questions.
Two teams of people, often family members, vie to guess answers to questions that 100 members of the studio audience have been asked. They might inquire about things like, “What kind of setting would be your first choice for a vacation?” or “How would your spouse respond if you came home several hours later than expected?”
It's always interesting to see how the audience answers the variety of questions – their range of choices, as well as possible answers they did not choose.
The reason I bring this up is not to promote a game show, but to point out that Jesus Christ once asked His disciples a question that could have generated some interesting answers on “Family Feud.” Matthew 16: 13-20 tells of a time when He and His followers were in Caesarea Philippi.
Perhaps it was a quiet moment, a respite from the pressing throngs Jesus usually attracted. He asked them, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
I find that question particularly interesting because it’s one we could ask of people today – and get lots of different answers. Similar to on “Family Feud,” the disciples responded with a number of possibilities: “Some say [You are] John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Obviously, back then – as it is today – people had many opinions about who Jesus was.
Then Jesus asked another question, perhaps the most critical, most important question anyone could ever have to ponder: “‘But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’”
Almost sounds like one of those “gotcha” questions, but it really wasn’t because these 12 men – Jesus’ closest and most constant followers – had already been with Him for quite some time; maybe a couple of years or even longer. By that time, they should have arrived at some conclusions about who this person was for whom they had given up everything to follow.
It was Simon Peter, perhaps the most brash and impulsive of the 12, who spoke up. He responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” If this exchange had occurred on a game show, a gong or bell or even a siren might have sounded to indicate Peter had offered the correct answer.
The passage doesn’t tell us whether this brought a smile to Jesus’ face or some other kind of non-verbal reaction, but Jesus clearly indicated His one-time fisherman follower had won the grand prize. “Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven….’” Peter’s response was profound – and thrilling.
Today, we live in an increasingly secularized world, a society that has largely decided Jesus Christ and His claims are irrelevant. Kind of an attitude of, “We’re doing just fine without you, God.” Research would indicate that perhaps a majority of Americans share this view. However, we need to remember – the vast majority of passengers were convinced the Titanic was unsinkable. The prevailing opinion is not always the correct one.
So, what would be your reaction if Jesus were to approach you and ask, “Who do people say that I (the Son of Man) am?” Then, when He followed that with the question of all questions, “Who do YOU say that I am?” – what would be your answer?
It’s a question that no one can answer for you. And it’s not a harmless, no consequence question like, “What would you like for dinner tonight, hamburgers or pizza?” Yes, there are many possible responses to the question of who Jesus is – but there’s only one correct answer. No pressure, but for each of us, our eternal destiny depends on our genuine, sincere response. It’s definitely worthy of serious consideration before answering.
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is [email protected]
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