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The Most Important Question In The World ~ Luke 9:18-22

May 11, 2014 ~ New City Church of Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson

Intro: What would you say if you were given a platform via a interview that would be seen by millions of people,
and the subject of the interview was about your personal beliefs? And what would you say if you were asked
pointed questions about your personal beliefs about Jesus of Nazareth?

Bonos recent interview on The Meaning of Life: Q: Who, or what, was Jesus?

There is no more important question that a person can ask and answer. And there is no more important
question to answer correctly.

Were going to look at a passage where Jesus himself asks this question directly and pointedly to his
disciples, and this moment marks a change of course in his life and mission as he concludes his
ministry around the sea of Galilee and begins his journey toward Jerusalem where he will be illegally
tried, beaten, and crucied.

Whether you are exploring Christianity or whether you are a seasoned Christian, there is no more important
question for you to wrestle with and come to grips with because if we get the answer correct, it has radical, life-
changing implications for each one of us, both now and for eternity.

The Most Important Question In The World ~ Luke 9:18-22

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them,
Who do the crowds say that I am? 19 And they answered, John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah,
and others that one of the prophets of old has risen.

1. Jesus is constantly praying to His Father because He is desperately dependent upon His Father.

2. The preliminary question: Who do the crowds say I am?

THEN and NOW there are a variety of answers to this question.
You can speak highly about Jesus, but not highly enough.

20 Then he said to them, But who do you say that I am? And Peter answered, The Christ of God.

1. The personal question: Emphatic: But you, who do you say that I am?

Everything has been leading up to this moment and to this decisive question.

2. The Christ of God / NLT: You are the Messiah sent from God!

Christ is not the last name of Jesus! It is an ofcial title that means anointed or anointed one. In
the OT, the Hebrew equivalent was Messiah. This is what the Jews were longing for. The Messiah
would be Gods long-awaited King, who would administer justice, peace, and lead in righteousness.

They got the answer right! Surely they are to be commended. Surely they are ready to go

21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, The Son of Man must
suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed,
and on the third day be raised.

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1. The so-called Messianic secret. Why doesnt Jesus want them to proclaim the truth.

Jesus knows (1) they dont entirely understand what it means to be the anointed one. (2) The
crowds certainly dont know what it means (cf. John 6:31 when they wanted to take him by force and
make him king).

2. Son of Man: cf. Daniel 7:13-14, I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there
came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to
him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should
serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

3. Jesus: I am the promised Messiah King, but not the kind of King you were expecting. You are looking
for a political saviour who will overthrow Rome, but I have come to overthrow your alienation from God.
You want me to kill your enemies, but I must be killed for your sins. And I will rise on the third day.

The disciples only got part of the picture right (he will one day set this upside down world to right), but
they didnt have any categories for a dying and rising Messiah (cf. Isaiah 53).

So, why did Luke record these stories in his historical biography of Jesus?

Ryken, This is the most important question in the world because Jesus is the most important person in the

Main Idea:
The identity of Jesus is the Anointed One whose mission was to die for the sins of the world.

Points of Application:

1. Ask and answer this question from Jesus about Jesus.

To Jesus, there was no more important question.

For the skeptical: An open mind is a great thing, but its meant to close on the truth. Questions can
be employed in the pursuit of truth, but they can also be employed in an endless evasion of the truth.

For the curious: Be curious. Read the Gospels. Sign up to learn more. Cross the line.

For the knowledgeable: Be baptized and become a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. (Its time to) Join in the mission with Jesus.

While at this particular time, Jesus told the disciples to tap the breaks re: the news of who he was
(because many wanted to make Jesus King by force), now that Jesus has died for the sins of the world,
the unmistakeable mission he has given his church is Go and make disciples.

There are folks here in Calgary who need to know who Jesus is. Eg., student at SAIT


Assignment: Ask someone this week: Who do you think Jesus of Nazareth was?
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