In Luke 9, we read about Jesus feeding a crowd of five thousand. This meal was a jaw-dropping miracle; thousands of hungry people were fed from five small loaves of bread and two fish. After the crowds finally dispersed, though, the story really gets interesting. Jesus had been praying, and He turned to His disciples and asked a question: “Who do the people say that I am?” (v. 18).
They shared responses they had heard from the multitude—some think John the Baptist, others say Elijah or a prophet risen from the dead.
But Jesus pressed further, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter was first to answer, “The Christ [Messiah] of God” (v. 20).
In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis says Jesus’ question demands from us an answer, a choice. Lewis argues that you cannot say Jesus was just a great moral teacher and reject Him as God: “That is the one thing we must not say. . . . You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
In the Gospel of Luke, we follow the details of Jesus’ life from His birth to His baptism through His public ministry. We see our Lord and Savior stand trial and endure crucifixion. We witness His resurrection. Luke says he wrote this account of Jesus so that “you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught” (1:4).
Reading the Gospels allows us to know Jesus through the facts presented by Luke. He spoke to eyewitnesses and investigated the stories of Christ. Those who love God know that Jesus’ question in Luke 9:20 is the most important question ever asked. We know without a doubt that Jesus was much more than an extraordinary person and a profound teacher. He was the Son of God, our Redeemer, and the Messiah.