Scripture: Matthew 16 – see the VERSES tab for selected verses.
The religious leaders of the day asked for a sign from Jesus … He knows they aren’t actually interested in knowing Him, but rather set on having their own place in the world.
But privately for His disciples, Jesus asks the question that will eternally change everyone who listens and answers:
“Who do you say that I am?”
Without a miraculous sign, although there have been many, just face-to-face with the Savior; we all step into this place in our lives. Sometimes once, sometimes repeatedly … until we give an answer. That answer contains the most important words we will ever speak.
Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And life flows from there with unexpected twists and turns. Circumstances, sufferings and sadness we don’t understand wash over our new lives. Blessings and grace and mercy we can’t imagine walk each day with us.
Peter’s first inkling that life in the power of Christ might not be exactly what he imagined came quickly. Now a believer, Peter is addressed with prophecy and wisdom that he doesn’t understand. Jesus tells Peter that He will suffer at the hands of the religious leaders and be killed … then raised to life.
Peter can’t accept the first part of the message and misses the second part. Thinking he is now exercising great faith, he speaks:
“Never Lord. This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus, who knows the spirit behind the words, rebukes His disciple as one influenced by the enemy, not having the mind of the things of God but rather the things of men.
Standing in need of letting go of “my life” and the preconceived ideas of what true faith looks like lest I too be taken in by falseness. The falseness that says nothing bad can happen to a Christian … sickness means healing … blessing means prosperity …
Losing my life so I can find what God has for me in Christ.
Because what good will it do if I have riches but no treasure? What good will it bring if I am healthy on earth, but headed for an eternal death? At the end of my life will it matter if I am popular with people or approved by God?
After answering the question that resounds in Matthew 16 and life:
Jesus asking, “Who do you say that I am?”
The most important words we speak need to be followed by the most important commitment we make … Letting go of our “our life” and embracing His.
If anyone has not answered that question yet … or perhaps hasn’t listened to it … today is the day.
Who do you say that He is?
If we have answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Shall we take a deep breath and let go of our lives?
He’s got this now.