Bible study: Jesus asks 'Who do you say I am?"

Luke 9:18–26


With the spring season knocking on our doors, those graduating from high school or college may experience what is commonly referred to as “senioritis.”

This affliction is not found in any medical journal, and no treatment can be prescribed. With senioritis, students may find it difficult to concentrate and be prone to daydreaming. With impending graduations also come awards.

Most schools still recognize a variety of students with a “Who’s Who?” list. These young people are distinguished based on leadership, athletic ability or academics.

After 2,000 years the world is still asking the question, “Who is Jesus?” There has never been, nor will there ever be, a more written about, talked about and studied figure than Jesus Christ. How each of us answers the Jesus question is essential to our salvation and what happens after we take our last breath on this earth.

Not everyone sees Jesus for who He is. (18–19)

Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” It was not because He was worried about His popularity or because He was seeking affirmation. When Jesus asks a question, He already knows the answer. The purpose of Jesus posing a question is for the listener to look inward and evaluate themselves. He knew there was a lot of chatter about Him, but He wanted these close followers to have settled in their hearts and minds the person and purpose of His life and ministry. The disciples conveyed the word on the street, that some thought He was John the Baptist and others named various prophets. The general population had seen or heard about Jesus the Miracle Worker, the Great Teacher and the carpenter’s Son. However, Jesus would remind them to narrow their focus to His reason for coming to earth.

Jesus’ identity is wrapped up in His death and resurrection for us. (20–22)

While the miracles were amazing and the teachings were authoritative, they are not the means to our salvation. It is only by the death and resurrection of Christ that we have the hope and assurance of everlasting life. Every moment and intentional decision of Jesus pointed toward the cross.

His mission was the salvation of sinners, and He both knew and welcomed it. Praise God that Jesus never wavered in His purpose and love for the Father and us. The world wishes to separate the cross and resurrection from Jesus as a kind Teacher but that is not possible. We do not have a Messiah without the cross and empty tomb.

We are to respond to Jesus’ identity by dying to self and following Him. (23–26)

With a love so astounding, how do we choose to respond? There are any number of ways we may choose to express our gratitude, but Jesus requires one way more than any other: Follow Him.

Our world is busier now than it has ever been before. There are more noises, distractions and people seeking our attention than we can manage. However, Jesus simply says, “Follow Me.” His offer is as valid now as it was when He first said it. The temptations and trials of this world can be brutal, and yet Jesus calls us to daily follow Him. Who or what are you following each day? The way with Jesus is forward.


This lesson was written by Bobby McKay, pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi, and originally published by The Baptist Paper. This study is based on the Bible Studies for Life curriculum from Lifeway Christian Resources.