WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 13, 2022
TOPIC: WHAT PEOPLE CALLED JESUS
BY T. O. BANSO
“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’” (Matthew 16:13 New King James Version).
The Bible says that while Jesus was coming out of the water during His baptism, He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11 New King James Version). Matthew 3:17 says a similar thing. At the Mount of Transfiguration, Mark 9:7 records another reference to Jesus as the beloved Son of God.
While Jesus was on earth, people referred to Him in different ways. In Matthew 16:13, the Bible says “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’” (New King James Version).
His disciples answered that some said He was John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. When Jesus asked them further who they said He was, Peter was the first to speak, saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (verse 16 New King James Version). Christ means the anointed. It’s the Greek word for the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Jesus’ response confirmed that Peter was right. He said flesh and blood had not revealed it to him, but His Father in heaven did.
Jesus then commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ (verse 20). This was because it was not yet time to proclaim it publicly. He didn’t want to provoke too early the opposition of the Jewish leaders.
Based on people’s understanding of who Jesus was, they referred to Him in different ways. Let’s look at some of these, excluding the negative ones.
1. Good Teacher. “Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’” (Matthew 19:16 New King James Version). Mark 10:17 and Luke 18:18 record the same thing.
This certain ruler, as Luke 18:18 described him, was probably a ruler of a Jewish synagogue. He addressed Jesus as Good Teacher.
A central part of the ministry on earth was teaching, so this man called Him Good Teacher. Jesus taught in the synagogues as recorded in Matthew 4:23; 9:35. He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching (Mark 6:6). In Matthew 22:16 and Mark 12:14, the Bible also records a reference to Jesus as “Teacher.” In John 3:2, Nicodemus, a Pharisee, called Him Rabbi – “a title of respect signifying master, teacher, given by the Jews to their doctors and teachers, and often addressed to our Lord” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary).
The disciples of Jesus and others also referred to Jesus as Rabbi (John 1:38, 49; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8; Mark 9:5; 11:21; 14:45; Matthew 26:25, 49). Jesus was a Rabbi/Teacher. He didn’t object to being called so. “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am” (John 13:13 New King James Version). He also told His disciples in Matthew 23:8, “But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren” (New King James Version).
2. Christ, the Son of the living God/the Son of God. As you’ve seen earlier, Simon Peter said Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29). In John 1:49, Nathanael said to Jesus, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (New King James Version). The Jewish leaders never wanted to hear this. They considered it blasphemy. They didn’t believe He was the Son of God. In Luke 22:66-67, the elders of the people, including the chief priests and scribes, led Jesus into their council and asked, “If You are the Christ, tell us” (Luke 22:67a New King James Version). But Jesus told them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe” (verse 67b New King James Version).
Nevertheless, some people acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God/ Son of God. His disciples did (Matthew 14:33; John 6:69). Demons also did. In Luke 4:41 and Mark 3:11, demons/unclean spirits cried out saying He was the Son of God.
3. The Holy One of God. This is related to the last way people referred to Jesus. The Bible records in Mark 1:24 that an unclean spirit said, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” (New King James Version). Luke 4:34 records a similar statement. The demon declared that Jesus was the Holy One of God. Jesus cast out the demon. The Holy One was one of the names of Jesus (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27; 13:35).
4. A prophet/the prophet. In Matthew 16, the disciples of Jesus told Him that one of the things people said that He was was one of the prophets (verse 14). In John 4:19, the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well of Jacob in the Samaritan city of Sychar said, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet” (New King James Version). That was after Jesus had told her that she had had five husbands, and the one she had then was not her husband.
Jesus was a prophet but not just a prophet; He was the prophet – the prophet that Moses had prophesied about and whom the Jews had been expecting. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear” (Deuteronomy 18:15 New King James Version). This is also repeated in verse 18 and quoted in Acts 3:22 and Acts 7:37. Moses was referring to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
When the people looked at the ministry of Jesus Christ, they were convinced He was the long-awaited prophet. After He had fed 5,000 men with five loaves of bread and two small fish and His disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers, John 6:14 says, “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world’” (New King James Version).
Also, after Jesus brought back to life the only son of the widow of Nain who had died and was being carried out, Luke 7:16 says, “Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen up among us’; and, ‘God has visited His people’” (New King James Version). Jesus was not only a great prophet, He was the prophet. John 7:40 says that after the people had heard the words of Jesus, many from the crowd said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” He was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people (Luke 24:19).
5. Lord and Saviour. As you have seen, people referred to Jesus as the Good Teacher, Christ, the Son of the living God/ the Son of God, the Holy One of God, and a prophet/the prophet. But beyond these, Jesus is both Lord and Saviour (2 Peter 1:11; 2:20; 3:2, 18).
Jesus was called Lord severally when He was on earth. He said in Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (New King James Version). Jesus is the Saviour of the world (John 4:42). This was the reason He came to the earth, born as a baby. Jesus means saviour. Matthew 1:21 says, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (New King James Version).
The Samaritan woman whom Jesus spoke with in John 4 went to the city, saying, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (Verse 29 New King James Version). When the people came, they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world” (verse 42 New King James Version).
To believe everything about Jesus, including being the Son of David as He was also called, but not believe Him as the Christ, the Son of God and the Saviour, is wrong. You must believe in Him as the Christ, the Son of God, who died to save you and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11 New King James Version). Do you believe He is the Christ, the Son of God? Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Jesus, thank You for being my Lord and Saviour. I pray that all those who are yet to believe in You as Christ, the Son of God, who died to save them and accept You as their Lord and Saviour will do so this season.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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