I took a walk on Friday to my favorite little coffee shop on Main street Moncton to get my daily little boost to get me through the day. The girls that work at this coffee shop always provide fantastic service and they are very pleasant which makes my experience all the better. When I entered the shop I noticed that the girls were having a “hat day’ since, well, they were all wearing hats. One particular hat that stood out was a hat that said “I love Jesus”. Obviously, being a Christian, this caught my attention and several questions began to run through my head. The first question was is she serious about that statement or is she ridiculing the name of Christ as most people in the Moncton area do. While I wanted to ask her why she had such a hat I figured it would lead to a bigger discussion which unfortunately I didn’t have time to engage in. I’m honestly hoping to get an answer in the near future! Anyone that knows coffee breaks knows they are essentially a marathon.
While I was walking back to work, another question began running through my mind which was mainly who is this Jesus that she loves? I know this sounds like a weird one but when we think about it how many people have a different Jesus. Some have a Jesus that is a great moral teacher, others a Jesus that is an example of love while still others a Jesus that is like a genie in a bottle who simply answers all their prayers. This enquiry is foundational to the Christian faith! Who is Jesus Christ?
In the gospel of Matthew, The Lord Jesus Himself asked that very question when He asked “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13) His apostles had given several answers including the forerunner of the Messiah or a prophet of God. The Lord Jesus desired to know who His followers had come to know who this Son of Man is. He asks a second question But who do you say that I am?” (v.15) The apostle Peter, speaking on behalf of the 12 apostles, answers You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter’s confession deserves special attention especially as to the fullness it represents regarding God and His Christ. John Gill writes:
Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God: a short, but a very full confession of faith, containing the following articles: as that there is a God, that there is but one God; that he is the living God, has life in himself, is the fountain of life to others, and by this is distinguishable from the idols of the Gentiles: that Jesus is the Christ, the Christ of God, the true Messiah, that was promised by God, prophesied of by all the prophets, from the beginning of the world, and expected by the people of God: a character that includes all his offices, of prophet, priest, and king, to which he is anointed by God; and that this Messiah was not a mere man, but a divine person, the Son of God; not by creation, as angels and men are, nor by adoption, as saints, nor by office, as magistrates, but by nature, being his own Son, his proper Son, the only begotten of the Father, of the same nature with him, being one with him, and equal to him. This confession, as it is uniform, and all of a piece, and consistent with itself, and is what all the disciples of Christ agreed in, so it greatly exceeds the most that can be made of the different sentiments of the people put together. They took him, one and all, to be but a mere man; their most exalted thoughts of him rose no higher: but in this he is acknowledged to be the Son of God, a phrase expressive of his divine nature, and distinct personality: they thought him to be a dead man brought to life; but here he is called the Son of the living God, as having the same life in him the Father has: they indeed judged him to be a prophet, but not that prophet that was to come, superior to all prophets; but here he is owned to be the Christ, which not only takes in his prophetic office in a higher sense than they understood it, but all his other offices, and declares him to be the promised Messiah; which they who thought, and spoke the most honourably of him, could not allow of.
It was upon this confession that Peter was “blessed” and also that the church would be built with a foundation that could never be shaken even by the gates of Hell (v.18) This was a profoundly important question at the heart of the Christian message.
The importance of knowing and loving the true Jesus cannot be minimized in any sense. Unless an individual believes in Jesus, the real Jesus, the Messiah who was sent by God and who takes away the sin of the World then, as the scripture tells us, they will die in their sins (John 8:34) While I hope that this lady at the coffee shop was wearing this hat to express her love for Jesus, I pray that the Jesus that she openly proclaimed willingly, whether as a token of her love for Him or as ridicule, would become her Lord and Saviour!