Who Do You Say That I Am?
"Men, you have been with me sometime now. Yet you are still unsure who I am, and what
my work is. Who do men say that I am?" They quickly answered, "Some say you are
John the Baptist, others say you are Elijah, and others say you are Jeremiah or one of the
prophets." Jesus then looked at them intently and asked, "But who do you say that I am?"
In typical aggressive style, Peter immediately replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the
Jesus looked at Peter and said, "How blessed you are for having this truth revealed to you
without the aid of religion. In fact, religion cannot reveal this truth to anyone because it
does not identify with what is inside the man, being more concerned with those things that
the outside of the man does. Only the spirit of man understands my identity, since my
identity is spirit and not flesh. In recognizing my true identity, you have recognized your
own. This recognition is the rock on which I will build my church. Just as you have come
to this recognition on your own, without the aid of men, so will others come to know me.
And they will know themselves in doing so. The Son of God is not a single fleshly being.
He is all of mankind, forever unified with the Father who created Him. This truth is hard to
learn by those who choose to identify with the body, because the physical world consists of
many individuals. But this is an illusion, which can only be undone by the revelation of the
True Identity within. This is why my kingdom is not of this world, because my true
identity is not of this world."
The disciples were shocked by these words. They could not grasp the depth of what Jesus
said. All their lives they had been taught to trust in the ancient traditions of Judaism. Was
Jesus saying that it is impossible for this religion to lead men to the knowledge of who he is?
Was he saying that this system must be undone in order for mankind to recognize who he
is? How could this be? This message was hard to bear. It went against everything they
had been taught from birth about how God's kingdom would be established on earth.
"Who do you say that I am?" This question rang in their ears. This question can only be
answered by looking inward instead of outward. How strange to look inward instead of
outward! How odd to seek an answer for yourself without consulting the ideas of men. Is
it possible to answer such questions in this maner? Do such resources reside in each of us?
As impossible as it is to believe, each man knew it was true. Something inside of them
witnessed that it is so. But something else also told them that this was too hard to believe.
Sensing their conflict Jesus said, "The gates of hell will not overcome the truth of what I
just spoke to you. You have been taught to identify with your bodies and not your spirit.
Yet all the while something feels foreign about it. Am I right? Even now, you are
conflicted. On the one hand, you sense that what I said is undoubtedly true. Yet you
question it because until now, nobody has provoked you to think otherwise. But you still
can't shake it, that ringing inside your souls telling you it is true. In your true mind, you
know you are connected with every other person on this earth. But the mind you have
identified with so long is telling you it cannot be so, because its' identity is with the physical
and not the spiritual. The ideas of this identity are its' defense system, whose purpose is to
keep conflict alive inside of you. After all, to this identity death is the most dreadful of all
consequences. Death is to be feared at all costs, even if the cost is your sanity. This
defense system has literally made you insane because it is built on an insane premise. That
premise being that you can separate yourself from others and can therefore harm them, or
be harmed by them. What is spirit cannot be threatened by the physical. The eternal
cannot be diminished by the temporal."
"Do not seek to defend yourself against the truth. If defense is at work inside you, you are
conflicted. Conflict always brings fear, which is the atmosphere of hell. Do you know
what I mean by fear being the atmosphere of hell? As with the earth, we could not survive
without the atmosphere it provides. So it is with hell. Hell is the place of the dead, the
place where death never dies. Fear is what sustains the life of that idea. You believe hell to
be a literal place, one consisting of physical properties such as fire and brimstone. This
does not surprise me, nor should it surprise you. Since you identify so closely with the
physical, to you hell must be a physical place. To those who identify with the physical
there must be a place of punishment. Since you identify with the physical, death is an
essential part of that identity. The idea of death is the basis of conflict. Life and death are
opposites. Opposition is the essence of conflict. In fact, conflict cannot remain without it.
Since the identity you created is based on a world of opposites, heaven and hell must also
exist. Good and bad, right and wrong, punishment and reward, make this world meaningful
to the identity you have created."