by Dr. Don Young
Relating to Jesus as the Messiah requires a personal relationship. Whether you’re in a corporate worship service, a small or large group study, a Wednesday night prayer meeting, or when reading your favorite author, knowing the Messiah is a one-on-one relationship. Jesus clearly enunciated the truth when he asked, “But who do you say that I am?” Praise the Lord for Peter who came right to the point with his immediate response.
Knowing About or Knowing?
Years ago I had the privilege of meeting one of the world’s greatest evangelists. I had read all the materials I could find concerning his life and ministry. I watched the black and white broadcasts of his massive crusades and continued watching when the networks changed to color. Further I had the exhilarating experience of attending several of these crusades and viewing the evangelist from a distance. Then one day in the Netherlands he walked up to me and introduced himself and even asked my name. In that unique moment I realized the huge difference between knowing about someone and actually knowing the person.
The same is true in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Many believers have a scholarly relationship and historical understanding of this wonderful Jesus but have never experienced the one-on-one relationship that comes only through a personal encounter. My greatest joy is growing in the personal relationship I have found through knowing him more intimately.
Peter was able to respond immediately because he had witnessed the contemporary Jesus Christ and that took precedence over anything he had heard about this King of kings and Lord of lords. Knowing about someone is entirely different than actually knowing the person. He is our contemporary Lord and Savior and our future hope. Recognizing Jesus as the Messiah through a personal relationship will answer his question, “But who do you say that I am?”