Who do you think you are?

30 12 2011

There’s something surprisingly emotional about finding out about our ancestors, as evidenced in the popular TV programme Who do you think you are?

Many people begin with a vague curiosity and end up with a compulsion to find their roots. The programme researchers help them find out who they are.

Matthew is our researcher about who Jesus is.

Jesus’ roots go right back to Abraham, the accredited father of the Jewish nation. Matthew establishes Jesus’ connections with everything that has gone before and alludes to the Old Testament more that any other gospel writer. His original readers are primarily Jewish – he doesn’t need to explain Jewish customs and he uses Jewish terminology. He, like Paul, wants to provide evidence that Jesus is the promised Messiah. But Matthew also makes it clear that the good news of Jesus is for everybody – he begins with the Jews and ends with “all nations.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

In Matthew’s opinion Jesus, the Saviour, is Emmanuel – God with us.

But there is doubt about Jesus’ identity and his credentials even amongst his followers (16:13-16) and strong emotions amongst those who listen to him, which in the end lead to his death (26:65 and Luke 23:6-12).

If you listen to the song you will hear Herod’s verdict – “Get out of my life.”

It’s a common response.

I’m haunted, however, by Jesus’ question to his followers -“But who do you say I am?” The answer carries life-changing implications.

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