Jesus never said, "I am whoever you say I am"
We live in a day where there is an almost universal belief that truth is relative. You believe what you want to believe and I'll believe what I want to believe. The Bible says different. The Bible says there is absolute truth, and knowing the truth sets a person free. This Sunday in worship we conclude our sermon series, "Things Jesus Never Said", with three important observations. First, there is such a thing as absolute truth. Second, Jesus never said he is whoever we say he is. He said that he is who he says he is, the Son of God. Third, believing that Jesus is the Son of God is the key to having what we need.
Why do people today believe that truth is relative? Some say it is a reaction to the Age of Enlightenment, a rebellion against an oppressive hyper-rationality. Some say it is the product of American democracy. Our right to believe and worship as we choose has morphed into a perceived right that we can claim anything to be the true. And some say that it is not an issue of knowledge but an issue of power. Whoever determines truth has the advantage. Whatever the cause, to say that truth is relative is to say that one can believe whatever one wants, and to believe whatever one wants leads to the belief that Jesus is whoever we say he is.
Who does Jesus say he is? Jesus says he is the Son of God. He says he is fully divine and fully human, the Creator of the Universe walking the earth. Some have said otherwise. Some have said that Jesus is a wise teacher or a social prophet or any of several other identities. But Jesus didn't say that. He says that if you have seen him, you have seen the Father. When we say Jesus is who we say he is, we are avoiding the crucial choice Jesus sets before us. He says we can believe in him or reject him, and the decision has eternal significance. When we say Jesus is something other than who he is, we are attempting to hide. We are trying to select an item that is not on the menu. Jesus says that we can't do that. Jesus says to believe in him, or not, and accept the consequences.
How is believing that Jesus is the Son of God the key to getting what we need? Jesus' disciple Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Philip was expressing the fundamental human desire to know God. If you know God, you have everything you need. But it has to be God, and not God as we want him to be. Jesus gives us what we need. He gives us himself, not as we might say he is, but as he says he is. He is the Son of God.