Who was Jesus for the Disciples?

Focus Scripture – Matthew 21:1-10 (NLT)

How would those closest to him have answered this question?

“He’s our prophet,” Luke said. “I remember one day in the synagogue when he announced his mission statement, some of those in attendance were highly offended. They started to say things like “isn’t this that Carpenter?” “Wasn’t his mother Mary?” “Where did he come up with this idea that he is fulfilling a prophecy?” Jesus challenged them by saying that a prophet was without honor in his own hometown. Some of those in the synagogue got upset after that. They led him to the brow of a hill and threatened to throw him over the cliff. But he simply passed through the crowd and went his way.”

“Jesus was a teacher,” Matthew announced enthusiastically. “We were with him when he taught the people on the Sabbath. Many who heard him were astonished because he spoke with such authority. News about him began to spread through the region.”

“He was a healer,” Peter proclaimed. “One day we all stopped by my mother-in-law’s house. When Jesus saw she was sick, he healed her. Somehow word got out. Later that same evening people lined up around my mother-in-law’s house. And all through the night, he laid his hands on the infirm. He cured them of their diseases and cast out demons. He had to sneak away to a quiet place to get some rest the next morning, but the crowd followed him relentlessly. They kept trying to touch him because when they did such power came off from him and made them whole.”

“He had power over nature,” Mark proclaimed. “One day we were in a boat crossing over to the other side. And a great windstorm rose up. The waves beat against the side of the boat. We started to take on water. We were so afraid. And there was Jesus in the back of the boat. Fast asleep. When we woke him up, we said: “Teacher, don’t you care if we perish?” That’s when Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves. “He said Peace, be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. We were astonished and said to each other, “Who is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

“He was a provider.” Mark chimed in. “There were a couple of times when he was speaking to crowds. Some of his sermons were long because Jesus had a lot to say to the people. And they got hungry after a while. I remember one time he fed 5,000 and another time he fed 4,000 people who had come to hear him speak, each time taking a child’s simple lunch of fish and bread and increasing it to make sure the masses did not go hungry.”

“He raised the dead,” John remarked. “I was there when he brought Lazarus back to life. Mary and Martha were full of grief after their brother died. Even though he had been in his tomb for four days, and they missed him so much, they didn’t blame Jesus for not getting there sooner. They were women of faith and understood that Lazarus would rise again in the resurrection at the end of time. That’s when Jesus told them, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die.”

“He was Christ, the Son of God,” Peter said. “I remember after Jesus fed the 4,000, we were all at Caesarea Philippi. And Jesus asked us who people said he was. We told him what we had heard various people saying: “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” And then Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?” I remember I responded without hesitation: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus told me that flesh and blood hadn’t revealed it to me; it had been revealed to me by God the Father who is in heaven. I discerned it because of my faith, and faith is the rock on which the Church is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!”

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