Who is Jesus? If you were to ask a sampling of your non-church friends this question you would get a variety of answers, ranging from myth, to good teacher, to God. But more important, who is he to you? When Jesus asks his disciples this question, Peter quickly responds with “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Peter later reaffirms this declaration at Pentecost, when the church explodes with the coming of the Holy Spirit. During his inaugural sermon Peter declares:
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” – Acts 2:36 NIV
The people of Jerusalem had rejected Jesus and had seen him crucified. They had turned their backs on him and his claims over their lives. But Peter boldly declares to them that God had taken the one they had crucified and made him both Lord and Messiah, or Christ. Regardless the peoples response to Jesus, he was God’s anointed one, his chosen one, the one that God had promised for so long. And, in spite of their rejection, he was lord, the one that God had put into a place of authority over them.
I do believe that this verse forms the foundation of what we see take place in the book of Acts, as the apostles accept Jesus as God’s anointed, and their Lord, and in doing so are used to transform the Roman world. That transformation did not happen overnight, but it did begin there, and quickly spread out to the rest of the known world.
Today, I call Jesus Lord. But is he? When I am honest with myself, I must admit that too often that is just lip service, and I am still in control. I follow and obey when it is convenient, and ignore his claims when they are inconvenient. What would my world be like if only I would let go of self and truly embrace Jesus as Lord? Someday I hope to be brave enough to find out.