For today this question was the one that struck me the most.. Literally in every area of our lives, you and I both will be able to answer this question correctly and know it as a truth that will set us completely free and set us apart from what others believe and feel!
I want to direct our attention today to a key scripture in the text… Matthew 16:13-14… A jewel of a topic, Jesus brings up … It seems like Jesus was waiting for a strategic time when He would begin to question those who had been walking with Him.
You know there will come a time when we all will have to be questioned by Jesus the Christ!
Question #1. Who do people say I am?
In other words, what are people saying about me?? I know there’s word going around about who I am, I really want you to tell me what you’ve been listening to.. Our culture can always offer us a definition of who Jesus is, and unfortunately, just like it was in Jesus’ day, the tabloids, the magazines, and the television shows and even some of our preachers are not rightly teaching who Jesus is to others who are listening.. Yet we are listening, and we do hear what they are saying!
All the things the disciples told Jesus others said about Him did not measure up to nearly what came out of Peter’s mouth..
Jesus then moves on to Question #2. Ironically He did not comment on what others had to say about Him, He was not really concerned, and it did not matter to Him.. It’s amazing how we care sometimes more about what others say about us than what we know about ourselves. Jesus was not the least bit threatened by what others were thinking of Him. He heard it and kept on moving!
Question #2. Who do You Say I Am?
That’s right! This question is the kicker.. This is the one that will make all the difference. People can say all sorts of things around you they could tell you that there is more than one way to heaven, they could tell you Jesus is just a prophet, they could tell you that you don’t really need to accept Him but you can just live a good, neat quiet little loving life and everything will be alright, but if you don’t know the answer to this one question.. It’s like putting the first button on and you need to be careful how you start to button your shirts or sweaters because the truth is it will set the course for how you will look when it matters most, in front of others..
Jesus asked this question not so He could know what they thought of but so they could reconcile within themselves what they thought of Him.. Have I ever sat down and thought about what I think about Jesus.. has my actions and lifestyle shown others that what I think of Him inwardly is my true reality. If so why would I be worried, and why would I be filled with guilt and shame and why would I have hatred in my heart if I have made this confession right it affects everything else.. if I truly believed it to be the truth it would change and revolutionize my life..
Although Jesus is asking a whole group of people/ His disciples, Peter is the one who decided to designate himself as the groups spokesman and says.. “You are the Christ the Son of the living God..” Now this was foundational.. because Jesus comes after him and calls him blessed.. Jesus says to him that there’s no way in his own mind he could have uttered this out of his mouth.. It had to have come from God.
This is when the name change happened.. Jesus consciously decided at this point that this was the day he would be a new person..
In the year 2006 I got married, and the day I got married my name changed.. I had a physical name change and from that day on I knew I was no longer Kevilyn Wesley, but from that moment on, I was Kevilyn Joseph and anyone who addressed me by my former name I would have to correct because even though I still looked like that person, the truth is by law it’s no longer my name. I have had a name change and can no longer rightly be referred to as the person I used to be, for now I am Mrs. Joseph. Let’s look at how I got to be Mrs. Joseph, Aaron and I entered into a mutual agreement, he did not force me to be his wife and I did not force him to be my husband, but perceiving that this would benefit us for the rest of our lives here on earth we made a confession that we would be committed to each other as long as we live.. this is what Peter was doing and no one walks away from the alter with the same name… Something changes when you make your confession in front of many witnesses.. realize marriage is symbolic of Christ and the church and this is Christ who addresses His followers as the church and upon one confession, one sound foundational truth they would stand and nothing and no one would be able to set them asunder.
Jesus said upon that truth that Peter had just spoken He would build His church.. and the gates of Hell would not be able to prevail against it. If we stand on this truth that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the LIVING GOD, in every are of our lives and not live by what our emotions are saying..we will experience victory, because to truly believe that means several things.. This statement will give us keys to the kingdom of heaven..
How deep is that.. then whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven..
Upon the truth that Jesus is the one who was and is and is to come.. on this truth that He is the Son of the Living God..