Answering the big question
By Kyle Patterson
Working in news ministry, I hear a lot of concern expressed by Christians regarding the way our culture is going. And rightly so. We have high standards as Christians and we want the best for our country, the next generation, and people everywhere. We want to see God’s kingdom come on earth. We know we have a part to play, a mouth to speak up, and values to uphold.
But in our fight for what is right, have we made secondary issues of primary importance?
What I mean is this. We know Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. We love what he loves and we hate what he hates. But in the midst of our zeal for what is right, have we left out the only power there is to change the heart - the truth of the gospel? We’ve been so focused on issues of our time and understandably so. There is a very real spiritual battle for the souls in America. As long as we don’t forget the main issue that Jesus told us to be concerned with - loving him and making him known. You see, as much as I want our culture to adopt the things of God and the truth of his ways, this will not happen without communicating as the central issue - the truth of what Christ did for us through his death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father. Adherence to outward standards and religious rule will do nothing to change the heart.
Only believing Christ has the power to access and change the heart.
This is the real issue at hand and the most important question we can answer today.
Jesus himself cuts to the chase in his conversation with his disciples when he asks them the most important question you and I will ever have to answer.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13
Interestingly he asked this question after warning his disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were making secondary things, primary and because they did, they missed God. They were putting the issues of their day and their interpretation of the law, Sabbath, and legalism ahead of relationship with the Father.
When Christ poses this question, it’s almost as if he is saying, “I know there are a lot of other issues you're concerned with, but let’s answer the most important question of the day. Who am I?"
Likewise today, this is still the most important question of the day. It’s not where you stand on this or that issue. It’s not if you’re democrat or republican. It where you stand on who Jesus Christ is. This is the defining question of your life and my life.
In verse 15 Christ drives this point home when he makes it even more personal. He asks his disciples directly,
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
This is still the primary question of our day, and it’s the only one that has the power to change every heart.
It's in his light that we see light. So what's your answer?