As far as back-and-forth conversations go, it was a pretty short one — at least according to how Mark was led by the Spirit to record it. Only 70 words, and most of those single syllable words. Not long. Not complex. But pretty profound.
They spoke 7 words, He responds with 37. They counter with 7 more words, He wraps things up with 5 . . . and, for those with ears to hear, it’s a “drop the mic” moment. All that’s left is for them to say among themselves, “We’re done here.”
As I chew on this mini-debate of eternal significance though, twelve words quiet my heart and evoke my praise. For I am so grateful we have heard it ourselves.
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led [Jesus] away to their council, and they said, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from His own lips.”
(Luke 22:66-71 ESV)
The Christ. The Son of Man. The Son of God. I Am.
Twelve single-syllable words. Thirty-four letters. But get them, believe them, and respond to them? And they are eternity.
The religious elite understood that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, but they wanted to hear it from His lips one more time. Not so they could bow down before God’s promised Redeemer, but so as to charge this Carpenter from Nazareth with blasphemy. Not so they could confess Him as the Author of Life, but that they might condemn Him to death (Matt. 26:65-66).
But Jesus takes their “the Christ” accusation and punctuates it with His own “the Son of Man” proclamation. They take His “the Son of Man” and draw a line in the sand with their “the Son of God.” And then Jesus steps way over the line, blowing the line away with, “You got it! I AM!”
And, for us followers of Christ, we have heard it ourselves from His own lips, as well.
Not because we are so smart, but because He is so patient. Not because we’re better than those hard-hearted accusers, but only because we believed — and this not our own doing; “it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Not to our credit, but because of His grace.
So, there’s another back-and-forth conversation happening this morning, and it’s happening at this desk. He speaks through His Spirit from the written word before me. I respond with worship from the heart of faith within me.
Jesus is the Christ, the promised Redeemer and Rescuer. He is the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the power of God. He is the Son of God, soon to return in power as King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the ever and always existing I AM.
So grateful this morning that we have heard it ourselves.
By His grace. For His glory.