After some arduous ministry, finally Jesus and the disciples got that vacation they were so longing for in the last section. Luke tells us that Jesus is in prayer, and the disciples are with him. He stops praying, turns and asks them: “Who do the people say that I am?”
I suspect Jesus he has already heard the murmurs in the crowds. Perhaps he has even overheard some from the crowd discussing this with the disciples. So far though it seems that this is not a topic that Jesus has brought up with his disciples.
The disciples themselves have been discussing this, as we heard about in Luke 8:22 after he calmed the storm in the boat. The disciples looked at one another wide-eyed, and asked the question, maybe mouthing it “Who is this?” Were they wondering if perhaps Jesus is “The One.”
Then there was Herod a few weeks ago in Luke 9:9, hearing stories about Jesus, and asking “Who is this?”
But Jesus hasn’t answered this question at all. That’s not to say there haven’t been answers. There have been loads of answers.
Who is this? The one who calms the storm. The one who casts out demons. The one heals the sick and raises the dead. The one who empowers his disciples to grow his ministry. And last week, we got another astounding answer. Who is this? The one who welcomes the crowd, even when all he wants to do is get away on vacation. Who is this? The one who feeds the hungry, the one who proclaims the Kingdom of God where in is the only place to find satisfaction.
Yeah, we’ve gotten a lot of answers. Few words. But lots of answers. Actions. They speak louder than words, don’t they?
If you think about it, Jesus has answered the question Who is This? Many times, over and over, with a resounding answer: He does things no one else can do.
But now he answers the question with words. And he goes on. Because not only will he answer Who is This?, he will also answer what we should do, what our lives should look like once we find out who he is.