Who do you say Jesus is? That’s the defining issue of life.
By the time Jesus asked his disciples this question, they had quite a bit of history with him. They had seen his miracles, heard his teaching, and knew his character intimately.
I’m sure it must’ve been Â more than a little disconcerting to them to experience the increasing contention from theÂ religious establishment. After all, before following JesusÂ severalÂ had already beenÂ devout followers of God.
In the preceding verses, Jesus warnedÂ his disciples to “beware of the yeast of the Pharisees” (Matt 16:11), in other words “don’t follow God like they follow God”. The Pharisees and Sadducees way of following God was based on external appearances, rigid ruleÂ keeping, hypocrisy, and manipulating adherents forÂ self benefit.
The leaders of the covenant based religion established by their heavenly Father didn’t “get” Jesus.Â They didn’t see him as the fulfillment of the Torah to which they were so committed.
They saw Jesus as a threat. They had completely lost the point of what they had dedicated their lives to. Even after Jesus had demonstrated an extensive track record of signs, miraculous healings, and clear teaching – they needed more information, they wanted a sign. (Matt 16:1)
At this point Jesus checks in with his disciples, are they getting this? Do they really understand who He is?
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
13Â When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, â€œWho do people say the Son of Man is?â€
14Â They replied, â€œSome say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.â€
15Â â€œBut what about you?â€ he asked. â€œWho do you say I am?â€
16Â Simon Peter answered, â€œYou are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.â€
17Â Jesus replied, â€œBlessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18Â And I tell you that you are Peter,Â and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of HadesÂ will not overcome it. 19Â I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will beÂ bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beÂ loosed in heaven.â€ 20Â Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. Â Matthew 16:13-16
And How About You?
Who you understand Jesus to be is the defining question of your relationship with God. Many people will respond with answers like “I believe Jesus was …. ”
A good man.
The greatest teacher.
An example to follow.
Someone who changed history.
A prophet of God.
All true, but also insufficient.
He was more. He is more. More than what they expected. More than we realize.
Peter got it, Jesus is the “Messiah (promised King) andÂ Son of the living God.”
On the foundation of this revelation, Jesus declared howÂ the community of God would be established. He spoke forth a completely new paradigm, church.
So when you are askedÂ this question: Â who do you say Jesus is?
What do you say?
Lord Jesus I believe you are the Messiah, the son of the living God. I believe you are my Savior and my best friend. I believe you healed yesterday and you are healing today. I believe that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Today, I submit to You as the Lord of my life in all I say and do. May it be for Your glory, and Your glory alone. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen
About Season Of Light
I am writing a devotional series called â€œSeason of Lightâ€ (#SeasonOfLife) during the beginning of 2016, focusing on the 40 day season of Epiphany (from January 6 â€“ February 10). Weâ€™ll explore the major biblical themes ofÂ the beginning of Jesus ministry, and Iâ€™ll comment as the Holy Spirit inspires. This is for the purpose of growing in our relationship with the Lord. My desire â€“ my hope and prayer for you â€“ is that yourÂ heart may expand and your spirit grow brighter as we seek to be filled with the knowledge and presence of God. So, I invite you to join me on the â€œSeason of Lightâ€ journey!
Often Iâ€™ll be inspired by a scripture from the Daily Audio Bible readings and use that as a writing prompt. Hereâ€™s theÂ DAB readings for January 25:Â Genesis 50:1-Ex 2:10; Matthew 16:13-17:9; Psalms 21:1-13; Proverbs 5:1-6
Our church is also on a reading plan of four chapters per day, starting in the New Testament. Today isÂ Luke 17-20.Â