“Who do you say that I am?

-The Hard Copy-
By the Mad Preacher
Listen at the Podcast at

who-do-you-sayWhen Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew16:13-15)

I have a long time good friend named Ken LaDuke who was a UMC pastor. Ken is a soft-spoken, easygoing sort that has an incredibly dry wit. In fact, he is so laid-back that it’s easy when you first meet him to be fooled into thinking that he is anything but funny. Then right out of nowhere he’ll say something so funny that it will have you rolling on the floor.

I love Ken’s humor but it is an acquired taste. Not everyone gets it. Once Ken was accompanying another old friend of mine named Mike Powers. Mike, an evangelist, was invited to conduct a revival in a small mountain church. Upon arriving Mike was carted away by one of the members. Now, this left Ken with nothing to do but walk around the building and take in the sights.

As he strolled about the interior of the small church, Ken noticed that there was a wide assortment of pictures hanging on the walls. Upon closer observation, he discovered that they were various artists’ conceptions of Jesus: Jesus with the Sheep, Jesus Knocking at the Door, Jesus Praying in the Garden and so forth. These pictures almost completely covered the walls.

Ken was standing in the vestibule casually studying one rather large portrait of Jesus, when he felt a tug at his sleeve. Looking around, he beheld a little old lady with a pleasant smile staring up at him through thick glasses. “We’re glad you could come tonight, Reverend LaDuke,” she offered. “Thank you. I’m glad to be here.” he returned. “How do you like our pictures, Reverend LaDuke?” She was positively beaming, obviously very proud of their collection. “They’re very nice,” he said in his usual near-monotone, don’t-get-me-too-excited manner. Then, strait-faced without offering the slightest hint of humor in his voice, he looked at her with eyebrows raised and asked, “Who is it?” Stunned, she replied, “Why… it’s… it’s Jesus.” Needless to say, she didn’t quite get it. She didn’t know about Ken’s famous wit.

It’s amazing how many of us just don’t get it.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)

Our lifestyle, the things we do and say are like brushes painting a picture of Jesus. The way we treat others, our work ethic, the way respond to to any given situation, the way we demonstrate the gospel and so on, is reflected in each stroke, each color and every hue of our painting. What kind of picture are you painting? When others look at your painting do they see Jesus or do they stare in bewilderment and ask, “Who is it?”
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault [before others] in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life— in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. (Philippians 2:14-16)

If actions speak louder than words, what are your actions saying about Jesus? Who do your actions say that he is? Better yet, what do others say about Jesus based on what they see in you? Do they see a true picture of Jesus and the Christian faith when they observe your life? Do they see the life of Christ displayed in the way you love, give, act and react to others? Or does the painting you present send mixed messages. Does your life that say one thing but shows another?

“Who do you say I am?”

Life is a song we must sing with our days
A poem with meaning more than words can say
A painting with colors no rainbow can tell
A lyric that rhymes either heaven or hell
We are living letters that doubt desecrates
We’re the notes of the song of the chorus of faith
God shapes every second of our little lives
And minds every minute as the universe waits by

The pain and the longing
The joy and the moments of light
Are the rhythm and rhyme
The free verse of the poem of life *

*The Poem of Your Life by Michael Card from his album, “Poeima”. © 1994 Sparrow

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