Thursday, April 4, 2013

Are You Gonna Go My Way?

“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?”  So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:13-16

The disciples were an interesting group of men.  They walked away from their lives to follow a man they barely knew.  That took a lot of courage.  But they didn’t all have the same faith.  While some believed early on in Jesus ministry, some didn’t.  John did not believe till he saw the empty tomb.  Thomas did not believe till he saw the nail-scared hands. 
In Matthew 16, Jesus asks His disciples two questions.  First, He asks, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” The fact that He gives His identity in the question, “the Son of Man”, says that Jesus wasn’t asking because He was having an identity crisis.  Jesus was fully aware of who He was and why He was here.  But He wanted to know if others believed.  Imagine the disappointment of hearing their answers, that they believed Him to be John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or another one of the prophets.  After all the miracles and healings these people had seen, they still could not believe that He was the Messiah, the Savior.

But Jesus is a personal Savior, interested in a personal relationship with each of us.  He asked the disciples a second question, “Who do you say that I am?” The only disciple who spoke up was Simon Peter, who had believed.  He said “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
We all come to a point in life when Jesus asks us the same question.  He doesn’t want to know who your grandmother said He was.  He doesn’t want to know what your best friend has to say about Him.  He’s not interested in hearing what your favorite minister says.  He wants to know what YOU believe about Him – and do you REALLY believe it.  Do you rest your life and all eternity on who you believe Him to be?  Does your faith cause you to follow Him?  What we truly believe isn’t seen in our words.  It shows in our actions. 

Lenny Kravitz, is one of the most talented guitarist of all times.  You may remember his mother, Roxy Roker, who played Hellen Willis on the old sitcom, ‘The Jefferson’s’.  You may also know Lenny as having received many Grammy Awards, MTV Video Awards, and even Male Vocalist of the Year.  What you may not know about Lenny is that he is a Christian, saved at the age of 13.  Many of his lyrics speak of his faith and belief in Jesus.
One of his most intriguing songs is called, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”.  As I was reading God’s word this morning, God brought the lyrics to mind.  The lyrics are written in two parts.  The first is from Jesus’ perspective, and the second from the believer’s perspective.  The song starts, “I was born long ago, I am the chosen, I'm the one.  I have come to save the day, and I won't leave until I'm done.”  The believer answers saying “I don't know why we always cry.  This we must leave and get undone.[see Isaiah 6:5]  We must engage and rearrange, and turn this planet back to one.” But the chorus is Jesus, continually saying “Are you gonna go my way?”, pleading the believer to not just believe - but follow. 

Some believe in Christ and don’t follow Him, don’t go His way.  Many believers live the same way they did before accepting Him, rejecting church, prayer, time in God’s word, and time for growth.  They reject the “anchor of the soul”(Hebrews 6:19), to steady their lives. 
Some follow His ways, but don’t truly believe in Him.  Churches are full of people who are in love with Church life, but haven’t truly accepted in faith that Jesus is their Savior. 

We can hear the truth of Jesus Christ daily for the length of our life, and yet still not believe and trust Him enough to follow Him.  We can base our faith on what others say about Him, instead of deciding for ourselves.  But what Jesus really wants to know is “Who do you say that I am?” and “Are you gonna go my way?”
What’s your answer?

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