From Pastor Mike Quillen:
Did you know that Jesus once took an opinion poll? It’s in Mark 8:27 (and elsewhere). He asked: “Who do people say that I am?”
The survey answers were: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets (Mark 8:28).
Those answers sound strange to us, but they reveal that the people believed God was at work. More than that, the people were looking for God to keep his promises from the next to last verse of the Old Testament: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes…” (Malachi 4:5; cf. Mark 9:12; Matthew 17:13).
In other words, the people were actively looking for the Lord to come and expecting him to send a messenger who would prepare the way (Malachi 3:1; cf. Isa 40:3; Mark 1:1-15).
Yet, the survey results also showed that most people didn’t understand that the messenger had come and gone. John was the promised coming of Elijah (Matthew 11:13-14; cf. Mark 1:1-8; 9:12-13; Luke 1:17; etc.). The preparation was complete. The Lord could come, in fact, the Lord had come!
In other words, the people missed that Jesus is Immanuel (Matthew 1:23)! He is the Promised One.
The second opinion poll Jesus took showed better results. Jesus asked the apostles, “Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29).
Peter answered him, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.” That’s the right answer! It came only as Peter and the others spent time with Jesus, listened to Jesus, learned to trust Jesus, and saw God work through Him and in them.
The people saw Jesus as a great person, maybe even a prophet from God. But, they didn’t see him as the Lord and Savior.
Do you? Do you believe his work was sufficient for you? Do you believe that his suffering was for you? Do you believe that his resurrection guarantees yours? Do you believe that he is now the ruler of all things, including this world and your life?
How much more should we actively looking for and expecting the Lord to work?! We live on this side of the cross and resurrection. We have the entire Word of God available to us. We have the Holy Spirit poured out upon us.
So, who do you say that Jesus is?