Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who do you say that I am?

From Kevin DeYoung's "Not One Of, but the One":
Not too long ago while walking across a bridge near our church I spotted some graffiti underneath the overpass: “I don’t need religion. I have a conscience.” I can only guess what this spray painter was trying to say, but my guess is he (or she) assumes religion is just a trick for getting people to line up and behave. Religion for him is nothing but a moral code for doing good. And who needs a religious code with all its ritual and institutional trappings if you have a conscience? But the graffiti sloganeer has grossly misunderstood Christianity. The foundational question for Jesus is not “what do I want you to do?” but “who do you say that I am?” Everything flows from a right understanding of Jesus. Not just what he taught or what he did, but who he is. ....

Jesus is not one of; he is the One. Jesus is not a pointer like John, Elijah, or one of the prophets. He is the point. It sounds very lofty to call Jesus a prophet, or a popular teacher, or a wonder worker, or a good man, or a brilliant example, or part of a long line of enlightened figures. But all of these descriptions miss the point. Because in all of them you are saying Jesus is one of (see v. 28). And if you say Jesus is only one of and not the One, you haven’t understood him. You don’t see who He really is. He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16:16).
Not One Of, but the One – Kevin DeYoung