Today's verses are Mark 6:14,15: "King Herod heart of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some said, 'John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.' But others said, 'He is Elijah.' And others said, 'He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.'" Herod Antipas was not actually a king but an administrator for Rome. When he heard of Jesus' miraculous power, he too tried to answer the question that was circulating among many: "Who is Jesus?" He knew that some said Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Some others wondered if he was Elijah the prophet. Biblically, Elijah was one of only two people not to have died (the other was Enoch). He was raised to heaven in a fiery chariot (2 Kings 2:11). Many anticipated that Elijah would return at the close of the age. Some speculated Jesus was Elijah. Still others offered the conjecture that Jesus was one of the Old Testament prophets returned to them.
But Jesus is far greater than any of these possibilities. His own disciples would gradually understand who he really is: the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Who is Jesus? It's the most important question any person can ask. Like Herod and his contemporaries, people have offered options throughout the ages: he was a good man with a bad idea. He was a moral philosopher. He was an excellent teacher. He was a revolutionary leader.
But none of these options work. Why? Because that's not who he claimed to be. He said he and the Father were one. He said he was the light of the world, the bread of life, the resurrection and the life. He said that no one comes to the Father except through him. He said that he alone, exclusively, draws people to the Father. He said he offered living water that would quench our spiritual thirst forever.
You can call him a liar. But his teaching brings truth to a dying world. You can call him a crazy man. But his teaching brings sanity to an insane world. You can call him a prophet, teacher or philosopher. But you'd be wrong to do so. Why? Because that's not what he said about himself.
He's either Lord of the universe or not. If not, dismiss him. But you are calling him a liar, a crazy man or a mere prophet.
If he is Lord of all, then he demands our lives, our souls, our possessions, our passions, our all!
Who is Jesus? It's the most important question you will ever ask.
Your answer will determine your eternity.
That's why it's so important you ask the question...and give the right answer.