A number of years ago, when my family lived in Nashville, we invited a guest to dinner. The guest was a colleague at the United Methodist Publishing House another editor. He and I were working on a project, which my husband Gary would be publishing and I would be writing, called, "Who is Jesus?"
Our son, Matt, was a first grader at the time and avidly listened to our conversation at the dinner table. As Matt and I cleared away the dinner dishes, Gary walked Bob to the door. My normally quiet little boy nearly exploded with energetic questions. "Mom, doesn't Dad know who Jesus is? If he doesn't, I could tell him! And if I couldn't, I'll bet that Bob fellow could!"
A smile grew on my face as I knelt down next to Matt. What concern he had for his Daddy, a pastor of many years and a Christian for far longer.
Do you know Jesus? It is a pivotal question.
The Jesus I know is not merely the child of the manger, whom we have celebrated in Sunday school pageants these past few weeks. He is not the child of whom King Herod was so very much afraid, nor the provider of stories on hillsides or even the miracle worker for thousands gathered on the hillsides. He was all of those things but he is so much more.
After Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida, Jesus and his disciples went to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, Jesus bluntly asked, "Tell me, who do people say I am?" (Mark 8:27) One of the disciples, Peter, responded by sharing the "news on the streets." He said, "John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets" (verse 28). And when Jesus looked him in the eye, and asked him a precise question, "Who do YOU say I am?" Peter responded, "You are the Messiah."
In the aftermath of Christmas as we anticipate the dawning of a new year may we place our faith squarely in the Messiah. Jesus is the one God has sent. We need look no further.
Do you know who Jesus is? If not, the days ahead may just be the time to discover him for yourself. A blessed New Year to you and yours!
Pastor Debra Ball-Kilbourne is the lead pastor of Faith United Methodist Church, a congregation which now meets with Vincent United Methodist Church since the flood. She also supervises the RAFT case management system in the long term recovery process.