“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:15-16)
Calendars: Just like the Calendar Year begins on 01st January and the Financial Year begins on 01st July, the Church Year begins on Advent Sunday. We are coming to the end of the year which began on Advent Sunday of 27th November 2016; we started by ‘waiting for the promise’ during Advent, then celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ during Christmas, and then rejoiced at His revelation to the Gentiles during Epiphany; this was followed be Lent that culminated in the commemoration of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection during Easter; we then celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day, and this ushered in the long Trinity Season in which all aspects of Church life are discussed with a view of pointing the world to God, the only God, who saves us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Having come full circle, as we end the year, we are celebrating Jesus Christ the King!
The question of ‘Who is Jesus?’ was asked before, during and after Jesus’ life on earth. In the gospels we often read people asking, ‘Could this be the Messiah?’ The words Messiah, Christ, and the Anointed One mean one and the same thing (just from different languages) – they mean the long awaited great King that would perform better than King David, and return Israel to its superpower position or even greater. Indeed, Israel was the world’s superpower in the times of King David, but had now degenerated to being ruled by various gentile empires, from Babylonians to Persians, Medes, Greeks and then Romans during whose reign Jesus lived. Jews, Samaritans and Gentiles took turns to ask the question of Jesus identity, with some acknowledging without a shadow of doubt that He indeed was the long awaited Anointed One. When Simon Peter made the great confession ‘You are the Messiah’, Jesus did not deny but instead affirmed this and promised to establish a Church that would live through the times – as is alive today.
John the Apostle in the Revelation writes of having heard ‘loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”’ (Rev. 11:15-19) To celebrate Christ the King at the end of the year is symbolic of the ultimate end that John describes when indeed the Messiah will reign over the entire world forever and ever without competition and without limitation. The enemy and all opposing forces will be judged, condemned and destroyed while God’s servants the prophets and His people who revere the Lord’s Name, both great and small will be rewarded. We may not know when this end will come, but it surely will. Your answer to Jesus’ question will determine your destiny: “But what about you, who do you say I am?” There is overwhelming evidence that Jesus our Redeemer and Friend was so prophesied, lived on earth and lives forever, and is ultimately Christ the King.