A BBC magazine answered the “101 greatest questions of all time.” What did they include?
Well, questions like “What is OK short for?” Answer? “OK comes from ‘oll korrect’, a deliberately misspelled writing of ‘all correct.’ It was popularized in Boston newspapers around the 1840s when it was fashionable to go around spelling things incorrectly for humorous effect.”
The #1 “greatest question” was “Where is the safest place to stand outside in a thunderstorm?” And, in case you must know the answer, it is “A car or other enclosed metal structure is the safest place to be in a thunderstorm.”
Jesus asked a question that should have been first on the list. He and the disciples were in Caesarea Philippi. Call it the shopping mall of religion. It was located in a region known as Paneon, or the home of the Greek god Pan. Once it had been a center of Baal worship. A temple was located there dedicated to the godhead of Caesar. And other temples of Syrian gods dotted the landscape.
Plenty of gods to choose from in Caesarea Philippi. So Jesus asks his disciples this question: "Who do you say I am?" (Mark 8:29). Oh, at first he asked them what others were saying about him. The answers came back in rapid fire: “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
But Jesus was more concerned with their answer to his question, so he asked, “Who do you say I am?” They all looked at this homeless carpenter and thought about that question. We don’t know how long they thought before Peter replied, “You are the Christ.”
Who do you say he is? Have you given it much thought? Some say he was crazy, claiming to be God but just a man. Some say he was just another liar, that he knew exactly what he was saying but was deviously misleading those around him.
But there are those who have said, along with Peter, that Jesus is the Christ. He is “God in the flesh.” He is the King. He is the Savior. You may know where to stand in a thunderstorm. And you may think your life is OK. But this week, if you have not answered this question from Jesus, then go to your own Caesarea Philippi, and let him ask you, “Who do you say that I am?”
Your answer will be the greatest one you will ever give.