“What’s My Line” was a TV show that ran from 1950 to 1967, wherein the panelists Bennet Cerf, Arlene Francis and Soupy Sales tried to guess the line of business of the contestants. The emphasis was on humor, to draw lots of laughs.
In the Gospel of John, the eighth chapter, Jesus carries on a dialogue with the Jews, proclaiming in verse 12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
He accompanies this with many other statements declaring who he is, His oneness with God. The Jews respond at verse 53, ”Who do you make yourself out to be?” This question is not humorous, it is not intended to draw a laugh, this is serious business.
Many today ask the same question: “Who do you make this Jesus to be?” And when we declare him to be God who became a man, who died on the cross to save us from our sin, they laugh at us and call us crazy or even worse names.
Many Christians throughout the world are suffering terrible consequences, even death for proclaiming their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
And yet despite the hatred of the world we openly profess what we believe: that we are sinners who deserve the penalty of God, that being eternal separation from God.
But God still loves his creation so much that He was willing to become a man, Jesus Christ, and to pay the penalty that we deserve: death for our sins. Jesus died on the cross, taking all our sin upon his body and dying that we might receive mercy.
God the Father has accepted his death as payment for our sin, and for his sake forgives all our sins when we believe that Jesus did this for us.
The contestants on “What’s My Line?” do not lie and try to deceive the panelists. They just answer their questions truthfully, and the audience enjoys the process of watching the panelists trying to determine who they are.
Jesus answers the Jews truthfully and proclaims openly who he is. In verse 58 he states: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” The Jews clearly understand who Jesus claimed to be; they picked up stones to throw at him.
The entire Gospel of John is written to answer the question, “who is this Jesus?” And John answers this question at Verses 20:30 and 31: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
We are the panelists and we know clearly who Jesus is, don’t we?