Memory Text: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45, NKJV).
After more than two years of public ministry, Jesus asked His disciples: Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? (Matt. 16:13, NKJV). It was not difficult for them to report what they had heard people saying about Jesus. More challenging, however, was Jesus’ next question: But who do you say that I am? (Matt. 16:15, NKJV). Now it became a personal issue. Jesus did not ask their opinions about His external appearance or about His character traits. His question, instead, went to the essence of Jesus’ very being. It required the disciples to express their individual conviction and faith.
Sooner or later, everyone has to answer this same question. Each has to decide, individually, who Jesus is. It doesn’t help to repeat what other people say or believe; the answer must be genuinely our own personal belief. And, of course, on that answer the destiny of every human being hangs.
This week we will seek the answer on the basis of what Jesus Himself said and did. Our aim will be to arrive, by faith, at the same response Peter gave: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16, NKJV).
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, July 12.