Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Bill Gates. Jeff Bezos. Elon Musk. We live in a day of technological giants and titans of industry. However, the person of Jesus is, even in the present day in America, still the most influential and controversial human being in the history of the world. And rightly so. In the text above, Jesus asks his disciples what the crowds say about Him. There are a variety of answers which they had heard—a prophet, a forerunner (Elijah), even a resurrected dead man (John the Baptist). If you ask the same question today in the marketplace, you will still get a variety of answers. Some of the books that written in this arena are: Jesus, CEO & Jesus, Life Coach (Laurie Beth Jones), The Management Methods of Jesus (Bob Briner), Marketing Like Jesus (Darren Shearer), and How to Sell Like Jesus (Glenn Rogers). These all contemplate the impact of Jesus and apply those principles to business. His personality was electric and attractive (multitudes were drawn to him, even in opposition) and many who are not Christians today acknowledge the far-ranging influence of His life.
The question of Jesus’ identity has infinite and eternal significance. Jesus is relevant your business and your work. It is not sufficient, however, to say Jesus can help your business. Jesus resisted the idea that His skills or concepts, or even His “brand” could be co-opted for purposes other than the one for which He was sent. When Jesus asks the disciples who they believed He was, Peter answers, “You are the Christ”. Jesus affirms Peter’s declaration. It is a response packed with meaning–“Christ” means “anointed one” (a Greek version of the Jewish word “Messiah”), a term that meant that Jesus was the rightful heir to the throne of David. David was remembered as the greatest king in Israel. It was a term that meant they believed Jesus would bring them freedom.
Immediately following this statement in Matthew, Jesus explains what it means for Him to be the Savior and King of Israel. He is going to tell the disciples that He will be betrayed, falsely accused and executed as a criminal. Peter resists this information —and Jesus tells him in strong terms that he has gotten his priorities out of order (16:22-23). We see that even Peter (who had the right terminology), was trying to fit Jesus into his own plan rather than adjusting his plan to fit the design of his acknowledged king.
If Jesus is who Peter confessed, He must be the one to set the priorities. A king sets the agenda for his subjects. However, many who claim Jesus want to use Him as a means to achieve their own ends. They do not want Jesus to change their plans to match His design. If we do not acknowledge Jesus as the King, we need not follow Him. But it is absurd to call Him “King” and then act as if He exists to meet our self-determined objectives. We must not only get our help, but our whole business plan and life purpose from Jesus. Even if Jesus calls us to leave the business or give it away.
“Who is Jesus?” is the most important question we will answer in our life. And if we answer that Jesus is the King, we must be prepared to let Him dictate not only our business plan, but every objective in our lives. The good news in all of this is that He is a good King. He has come that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). If you have yet to do so, recognize and receive Jesus as the King in your life today.