Who Is This?
"And Jesus answered, 'Why are you afraid? You have so little faith.' Then He stood up and rebuked the wind and waves and suddenly all was calm. The disciples just sat there in awe. 'Who is this man?" they asked themselves. 'Even the wind and waves obey Him.' " Matthew 8:26-27
I think one of the great stumbling blocks of our faith is that we have too often neither asked or had answered the question "Who is this man.....Jesus Christ." I recently preached on our refusing to settle for "hand-me-down truth," or "second-hand faith." I think we have been content to allow others to tell us about who Jesus is. I think we've been content to too often trust in the faith of someone else, while possessing so little of our own. The result of that is our faith walk is not a real walk of faith. When we get out into the "middle" of a crisis, as did the disciples in the midst of the storm, half-way to their destination, we are at the mercy of the winds and the waves, and not living upon and in, the promise and presence of the King.
We're oftentimes hard on the disciples as they stumbled around in their belief and trust. I think we tend to miss the fact that in their stumbling, they did not fail to ask questions of their Lord. I think we also miss that He rarely rebuked them for it. Jesus is not afraid of our inquiries, or our doubts, when those doubts spring from a heart that desires to know Him and His Truth. He'll take all of our questions, and in His answers, reveal to us who He is, who the Father is, and who His Holy Spirit is.
Jesus continually did and said things that left the disciples awestruck. He moved in such a way that often, the only thing they could do was ask, "Who is this man?" Then He would minister to them in such a way as to show them who He was. It went on throughout His three year ministry on earth, and it continued to go on through the ministry of His Holy Spirit after His resurrection and the outpouring of His Spirit at Pentecost. I believe that eternity, for those who are His, will be a never ending journey of discovering just who the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are. And eternity for the believer begins now. And I think it begins with the question, "Who is this man?" More than we want to know the answer, He desires for us to have it. Have you ever, from a sincere, seeking heart, asked that? Have you ever, in yielded stillness, waited upon Him for the answer? Or do you live upon assumptions and presumptions about Him? Trusting in what others say, write, and believe. Living on hand-me-down truth and second-hand faith....and that is not living at all.
Someone once said that too many stand in the shadows of others. They meant that we are content to be in the shadow of the one who stands directly in the Light of Christ. We, like the people of Israel, depend on them to tell us what they hear from and know of Him. What is real for the one standing in the Light, is not so for the one in the shadow. It's hear-say, not reality. Christ bids us to come to His Light, and stand there, with all of our questions and doubts. Assuming and presuming nothing, bringing only ourselves and our desire to know Him. That's a desire, a hope, that will not disappoint. "Who is this man?" Have you ever really asked that question? Do you really know the answer?