Who Is This Man?1
December 17, 2012
Who is This Man?
Regardless of your age, I am sure you have either seen or heard of “the Lone Ranger.” It was a television show in the 1959’s about a masked man, his horse named Silver, and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto. The Lone Ranger would wander around the Wild West (actually an outdoor film stage near Santa Barbara) doing good for those who were oppressed. He was the champion of justice, peace and good grooming for cowboys.
The funny thing about each episode of the Lone Ranger was the ending. At the conclusion of each show, after 23 minutes of action, somebody would always ask the same question: “Who was that masked man?” Someone would respond, “Why, didn’t you know? He’s the Lone Ranger!” Every week that’s how the show ended.
To me it’s incredible that someone whose life had been rescued, or whose money had been returned, or whose ranch had been protected, whose lives had been hanging in the balance, had no idea who the man was that was saving them. Why didn’t they ask up front (before he rode off into the sunset with a mighty “Hi-Ho-Silver!”) who he was? Who is this masked man indeed!
When Jesus Christ came into the world over 2000 years ago, it was very much like He was wearing a mask. In fact, the majority of the world failed to recognize him. The eyes of the world at that time seemed to be focused on people and events that appeared to be important. Yet, in the midst of it all, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the one who could and would rescue mankind, was seen and known by very few. And for those who did ask the question, “who is this man they call Jesus?” It was usually at the end of the episode.
The true meaning of Christmas is about recognizing the true identity of the babe in a manger. John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 16:16). Simon Peter said of Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). The real Christmas question for each and every one of us is this – who is Jesus to you? Is he a cute little helpless baby in a manger? Is he a prophet or a great teacher? Is he a lunatic or power-monger? Who is Jesus to you?
This Christmas season I want to call us to take off the mask of Christmas-materialism, consumerism, glitter and glitz, and ask the only question that leads to life transformation:
WHO IS JESUS TO ME?
And when we answer that question honestly and sincerely, we find the Christ of Christmas knocking at our hearts door:
“Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.”
Revelation 3:20 (The Message)