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Musings & Memories

Who is this?

Posted 6/24/23

Have you ever gotten a phone call and you didn’t recognize the voice of the caller? Usually our first words would be, “Who is this?”

Those three words can be spoken or just a …

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Musings & Memories

Who is this?


Have you ever gotten a phone call and you didn’t recognize the voice of the caller? Usually our first words would be, “Who is this?”

Those three words can be spoken or just a thought in our minds, either way we want to know who is talking to us. The answer to that question will let us know if we want to continue the conversation, or not.

Well, two thousand years ago a crowd in Jerusalem saw a man riding into the city on the back of a small donkey.

Guess what they said? They asked, “Who is this?”

The Gospel of Matthew says, “And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matt. 21:10-11)

If I saw a full gown man riding on the back of a small donkey here on the streets of Shelbyville, Tennessee, it would definitely catch my attention. In fact, I would have a few questions myself; such as “who is this guy” and “what’s he up to?” And maybe, “Is there a Donkey Show going on at the Celebration Grounds or something?”

In 1917, I was riding in a taxi in the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the narrow streets of an historic neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel. All of a sudden I see a man swiftly riding past us on the back of a donkey. He passed by all the cars ahead of us and soon was out of sight.

That definitely caught me by surprise, and I thought, “Who is this?” I asked the taxi driver if that was a common sight there in Jerusalem, and he simply said, “It is Not Un-common.”

Back in the early 70’s, I worked at a Christian summer camp called Green Oaks Ranch, north of San Diego, California. The Ranch was owned and operated by the inner-city Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles; and most of our campers were elementary school and middle school children from the inner-city.

The Ranch was built to look like an Old West Town, and each of the staff went by Western-type names. We dressed in ‘cowboy attire’ all week long. My name was Dakota.

The staff member in charge of all the horses on the Ranch was a guy named Rowdy. Every Monday Rowdy would give all the new campers a tutorial on horseback riding.

He started out his tutorial by riding out of the stable on the back of a little Shetland pony that would try to buck him off.

I can still see, 6’4” Rowdy, lanky as a string bean, sitting on the back of that little pony; Rowdy’s knees bent and his feet dragging on the ground.

When I think of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey’s foal, I see him looking like Rowdy on that Shetland pony.

And of course the people in Jerusalem would undoubtedly ask, “Who is this?” Even though it was common in Jesus’ day for people to ride into town on donkeys, there was something uncommon about this Man.

People along His route were shouting and waving palm branches and tossing them down on the road in front of Him.

Some people seemed to know who He was, but then, many others were asking, “Who is this guy?”

On one of Jesus’ ministry trips, He was talking with His disciples and asked them, “Who do people say that I am.”

Now, let me ask you…Who do you say that He is? Who is Jesus to you?

Just a historical figure? Just a prophet? Just a teacher? Just a good, loving man? Maybe just a Jewish Folk Hero?

Is He someone you only hear about when you go to church? Or is He someone you only think about when you are in trouble? Or is He a Name you only use as a cussword?

Or maybe He is just your good luck charm.

Ed Rush and George Cromarty wrote a folk song back in 1957 entitled, “Plastic Jesus.” Paul Newman sang that song in the 1967 movie, “Cool Hand Luke.”

Some of the lyrics go: “Well, I don’t care if it rains or freezes, Long as I have my plastic Jesus, Riding on the dashboard of my car. Through all trials and tribulations, We will travel every nation, With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far.”

Who is Jesus to you?

Is He just a piece of jewelry that’s hanging on the cross around your neck? Or is He just a wall ornament hanging on your wall, or a statue sitting on a shelf in your home?

The Gospel of Mark, 8:27-30, is where we read about Jesus asking His disciples the question: “Who do men say that I am?” Matthew 16:13-20 also records this discussion.

They answered Him, “Some say John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others say, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

But then Jesus asked them That All-Important Question: “But Who Do You Say That I Am?”

Simon-Peter, answering for the group, said, “You are the Christ,” Or, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” And then according to Matthew’s account, Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in Heaven.”

Who do you say He is? Who is that Donkey-Rider that came into the City of David?

Well, I’ll tell you who I say He is… Who I KNOW He Is…

I know He is Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, the Almighty God, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I know He is The Word! The Word who was in the Beginning with God, and is God… And ALL things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

I know that The Word became flesh and dwelt among men, and those men and women beheld His Glory, the Glory as of The Only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth.

I know He is The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I know Him as our Advocate with the Father, and as the Author and Perfecter of our Faith, and as the Beloved Son of God.

He is the Good Shepherd, the Great High Priest, the Head of the Church

And I know Him as Emmanuel… He is God with Me! God with Us!

And He is our Hope…Our Peace. He is the Prince of Peace!

I know Him as my Savior, my Redeemer, my Healer, and my Deliverer. He is the Sacrifice for all my sins. He has set me free, and I am free indeed.

I know He is the Risen Lord, and He is the Resurrection and the Life. I know He is the Way, and He is the Truth, and He is the Life. And no one comes to the Father but by Him.

I know that He is Seated at the Right Hand of the Father in Heaven. And I know that He is the Soon-Coming-King! And at that time, when Jesus returns… “At the Name of Jesus every knee will bow down in worship, in Heaven and on the Earth, and even under the earth. And all the people of every nation, in every language or tongue, will admit or acknowledge and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2)

I know that Jesus Christ is ALL THIS…and so much more.

Who do you say that He is?