Day 1

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.—Matthew 16:13-18

For the disciples, this initial question by Jesus probably felt inquisitive and curious. Jesus seems to be saying, "You're my eyes and ears out there, so what's the word on the street about me?" So they give an answer to this seemingly innocent question the best shot, and a few of the men rattle off popular soundbites. But then Jesus asks the same question but personalizes it with the pronoun "you." He stops, turns to them, and looks them straight in the eye: "But what about you? Who do you say that I am?" I assume there was a slight change in the tone.

But why does Jesus need to ask this question? Why the personalization?

Maybe because the disciples were always wavering in confidence. We witness this multiple times throughout the narrative in Matthew, moments they appear to lack confidence, and at times Jesus helps them in their disbelief. But now, Jesus is turning towards Jerusalem—and his final days. Jesus knows that his end is in sight, and he wants the disciples to firm up their belief and stop the vacillating. With his personalized question, he wants a verbal assurance that they get it, and they are confident in who he is, no longer uncertain, but resolute.

But what about you? Who do you say Jesus is?

Remember, Jesus is not merely a nice guy, a compassionate man, an inspirational leader, or a remarkable teacher—he is, as Peter said, the Son of the Living God.

As we begin this journey towards Jerusalem with Jesus, take time in prayer to tell Jesus who he is to you—personally. Avoid the cliches; make it memorable and personal. In scripture, he is the Living God, but who is he to you?

This week we are focusing on the discipline of prayer. So each of the Calls To Action below will involve the activity of prayer. Prayer is merely having a short conversation with God. One of the best ways to do this is by talking out loud with Him, so it might be best to find a quiet place to do this for the next few minutes.

DO THIS: Your Call To Act (C.T.A.) today is:

  • Write: in the comments below, describe who Jesus is to you in 1-5 words. For example, "Jesus is the power of my salvation."
  • Pray: for 5-minutes, sharing with God why you chose these 1-5 words.

Share That You Accomplished Today's Challenge ⚡

lent-challenge-day-1 Vince Miller

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795 thoughts on “It’s Personal

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  3. Richard Kellam says:

    He is my best friend who listens to me, yet He constantly challenges me to be more like Him. He so personable, yet the creator of everything. Amazing to me.

  4. Hernan says:

    My protector; protects me from harm
    My healer; protects me when I am sick
    My counselor; allows me to talk to him to find answers

  5. Oluwanishola says:

    Jesus is:
    1. My strength when I am weak
    2. He is my peace in the midst of the story
    3. He is my advocate whom i rely on to plead my case
    4. He is the one who sustains me
    5. He is the anchor of my faith

  6. Kurt Cubbage says:

    Jesus is my advocate. My defense attorney (for lack of a better phrase),who is guilty as charged before the Judge, but Jesus paid my price. Thank you Jesus

  7. Mark Palfenier says:

    Jesus is my savior. God the son, not just the son of God. The Messiah, the Almighty; who forgave all my sins, past, present and future. The one who assures me I will be with Him when this life is over.

  8. Greg Brouwer says:

    Jesus is my constant in everything that I do and need. He cared enough about me to die for my sins.
    Who can’t love a Saviour like that.

    • Collin Boggs says:

      Jesus is the Son of the Everlasting God, my Rabbi, and my dearest Friend. He is the Way, who shows the Way, and leads the Way.

    • Harry Brower says:

      Praise God, Jesus knows my every thought, loves me for who I am, yet loves me enough to change me!

  9. Joel Walls says:

    Jesus IS my salvation! He is my inspiration! What a blessing to be able to look to him for every thought or need. He fights for me, comforts me, and shows me how to handle everything! Five words? Really? Ha ha. I’m jumping up and down inside right now! He is my EVERYTHING!

  10. Ed says:

    Jesus is Messiah (my personal savior from sin) bringing Jews and Gentiles into perfect relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.

  11. Lee Emmons, Jr says:

    Jesus is the Rock of my life! He will always be there, good or bad providing guidance, strength and light to the situation.

  12. Dave Benson says:

    Jesus, you’re everything to me and all I need! I’m ready to let go of everything else I’ve been clinging to!

  13. Ryan Kernan says:

    Jesus to me is a Rock. A solid friend who no matter what will always offer strength wisdom and love.

  14. Kurt Leininger says:

    Jesus is a REAL Commander-in-Chief. He leads us to fight against the enemy and guides us in that fight. He provides for our actual needs and sometimes our wants. He surrounds us with brothers-in-arms. He guides us to lead those entrusted to us and to provide for them. He gave His earthly life for us. He is Commander-in-Chief.

  15. Jonathan Robertson says:

    Jesus is sweet surrender. He is the strength after I lay my burdens at his feet and take up my cross.

  16. Ruben says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Stand firm on the rock of Jesus he is our all that will not rattled or shaken.

  17. Brad says:

    Hey Chad, this is our private group. I look forward to us sharing our thoughts and burdens here. The 5 words I chose were, waymaker, trustworthy, faithful, good, available. Could have picked a bunch of other words too, but wanted to make this as real as possible and not just throw words out there.

  18. Gary says:

    Jesus is my Lord….Prayer, is for me to focus on what he wants me to do for him, and less of what I want him to do for me.

  19. Steve Cloran says:

    Good morning guys, just a quick/brief intro of our small but strong group. Tom Haskell is my brother-in-law – married to Kath’s sister MaryKristin (work: Global Head of Data Analytics at Kanter Health) … Kevin Cloran is my cousin/brother from another mother – Kevin and I went to Kindergarten through 12th grade together (work: Director of Family Ministries at Bedrock Community Church in VA) … Billy Lange, friend and brother in Christ, Billy has been a significant support for me during Jack’s treatment (work: head coach of our beloved St. Joe Hawks). Thanks for deciding to be ALL IN here, look forward to the journey, experience, and learning from you all. I chose Ironmen because I love the Proverb that Billy shared with me a while back, Proverbs 27: 17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” -Steve

  20. Jesse Winger says:

    This is hard for me. When I sit and think about it I realize it is hard to say “Jesus is the living Christ” that would mean I need to go e up much of how I function. As a Christian of 30 years that is hard to take. I like to think I have submitted to him but as I search my heart I find that I am trying to make decisions that would imitate Christ. I don’t truely ask and listen to his direction and let him tell me what to do.

    With that said I think Jesus to is “The King I Desire to Follow” from now on I actually want to follow him not imitate him

  21. David L. Trima says:

    Jesus is……The reason that I can face tomorrow with joy. (NOT a cliché.) At age 47 I was being wheeled into an operating room for QUADRUPLE BY-PASS. I was calm, not nervous at all. The nurse asked if I knew how serious this surgery was. YES I said, either way I’m going to be fine.

  22. Larry Miller says:

    Jesus is my all. My Lord, My Savior, My God, My hope. He is my brother as I have been adopted into the family of God my Father.

  23. Chuck Peter says:

    Jesus, my Lord and Savior. (So much more than these five words. But, if that was all He was, it would be enough.)

  24. peter schwamb says:

    After hearing of the tragic death of my older brother last night, I woke this morning a bit rattled. I thank God for His gentle but firm hold on me! Could the “rock” that Jesus refers to be, not Peter, but the divinely inspired truth of who Jesus is? Someone once said ” you can rock on the rock, but The Rock won’t rock”!

  25. Darrell Comena says:

    Jesus is Savior and King.
    My salvation is in Jesus Christ our Savior and He is who I bow to every day.

    • Todd Hansen says:

      Praying for a breakthrough for you in connecting with Jesus, Eric. Can I recommend the book – Gentle and Lowly by Gavin Ortlund? You will meet the Savior there in a way you might never have considered. Lord Jesus, please show yourself to Eric in such a soul-stirring way that he can’t NOT connect with you!

      • Michael Mahony says:

        I understand that disconnect but believe the only way I can make sense of this troubled, imperfect world is to have a role model that has the answers I struggle with and is pure and honest and has my back knowing I don’t deserve His grace and mercy but gives it in spite of me.

  26. Chad Norris says:

    Revelation 17:14
    These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

    Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. He is also a brother, friend, and my coach.

  27. Russ Matthess says:

    Just discovered this existed. Late to the party starting on Day 1 a few days before Easter but then again this has been the story of my life. Jesus is my God, Redeemer, Lord, Savior, Friend, adopted big Brother (if I am an adopted child of God then that should make the Son of God my adopted Big Brother right?) That aside I am related to royalty, he has appointed me ambassador to the crown.

  28. Scott Halverson says:

    The one true God that if I lean into offers love, patience, peace, kindness and self-control as fruits of the spirit. Even better things await in eternity

  29. Tom Barnard says:

    I just got home with internet connection and am on Day 1. To answer the question, who is Jesus to me, I have always felt I could look up to him a my big brother.

  30. Boyd Rasmussen says:

    He is the most powerful being in the universe that got my attention, and let me know that he valued me. He pointed out to me the correct path to be on,….that all the other philosophies of living are wrong.

  31. Chad P. says:

    Jesus is the I am that Moses encountered. He is the true manna, he is the living word. God who became flesh and dwelt among us. He is the true witness and all others who come in another way that claim any part of the salvation or peace are proven thieves and robbers. Hirelings that run away when danger comes, but God through sending Christ was able to take away my sin by His cross. He proved himself when he didn’t have to, he humbled himself yet was king of all that ever was or ever will be. He deserves everything yet we can give him nothing except our heartfelt thanks and obedience to his gracious Lordship.

  32. Pastor Mark says:

    Jesus is my example and assurance that the up’s and down’s of a life called to ministry are worth it!

  33. Eddie says:

    Jesus is the Lion & the Lamb
    the Lion of Judah and, AT THE SAME TIME, the Sacrificial Lamb that was slain for all of our sins. as the Scriptures say, He was FULL of grace and truth, equal measures of both, not a balance of one and the other.

  34. David Clarke says:

    Dave S C – He is many things to me, but the one that seemed to come to the forefront of my mind was Teacher/Guide. God instructs and leads me in the path that I should go.

  35. Brad Hatfield says:

    He is the great I am. To me he is my salvation (from sin) and pure love (in a life that was severely lacking)

  36. Rick says:

    He is my redeemer. I say that because He took what was broken and made it into something new. He took someone who never felt like they belonged, and adopted me into His family. He took someone who was heavily burdened and set them free.

  37. MICHAEL GARVEY says:

    He is my hope for eternal life. Who else offers eternal life? Nobody. Because He said yes to sacrifice, we have this hope. Thank you Jesus.

  38. John P Goushian says:

    Nothing is hidden from Jesus. He is my advocate, my Savior/Redeemer. Do I think of him like that? Not as often as I could. It’s easy to forget who He is in my trials but thats when I should lean All the more into him, and be under his yoke.

  39. Brady Ellis says:

    Director / My God / Protector
    He is the captain of my ship, my confident, he is the one who has shaped my heart to be the man I am and helping me become the man He wants me to be for my family and friends

  40. Seth Merten says:

    Jesus to me, is giver and a man of love. He wants only the best for us. Jesus to me is a teacher. He guides us and shows us how to make the best out of life for ourselves and others.

  41. David Wall says:

    Jesus is God in the flesh who came down to show me who God is personally, to clear-up and bridge my separation from God, to lead me daily through this life, and to raise me to eternal life in heaven.