Tag: who do you say I am?
Scripture reading for January 22nd: Matthew 16
“The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested Him by asking Him to show them a sign from heaven.” (Matthew 16:1) The religious people of Jesus’ time struggled with the miracles and teaching of Jesus. They were not satisfied with His teaching from Scripture or His miraculous power. They had attributed the power to Beelzebub and now wanted more proof that He was from God. Jesus spoke plainly to them about their ability to discern the weather from looking at the clouds but their failure to believe His miracles! “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. Jesus then left them and went away.” (Matthew 16:4)
These leaders had Jesus right in front of them and had seen miracles and heard Him teach with authority. The only sign that would be given them was the sign of Jonah. Jesus spoke of this same sign earlier when He explained that, “as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40) He spoke of His death, burial and resurrection as a primary sign of who He was: The Son of Man!
Later, Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) Knowing who Jesus really is comes from revelation! Revelation comes from a humble and teachable heart that seeks truth. Settle the question in your own heart today! Quit seeking signs and believe the Word of God! Jesus rose from the grave and is alive today!
Scripture reading for January 24th: Matthew 16, Psalm 18:1-6, Proverbs 4:18-19
The religious leaders were continually looking for ways to trap Jesus. In today’s reading, they ask Him for a sign or a miracle to prove to them who He was. He had been healing the sick and ministering in the miraculous and these “signs” were not sufficient because their hard hearts. His response to their request was sharp, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4) His death, burial and resurrection after three days would be the final and greatest “sign” that the world would have that He was from heaven.
When the disciples and Jesus visited Cesarea Philippi, Jesus had a serious discussion with them about who they thought He was. They had been with him for some time now and seen many “signs” in the miracles and healing that took place whenever Jesus went among the people. They had even done some of these miracles themselves. Jesus questioned them, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16)
People had different opinions but Jesus wanted His disciples to know the truth. He called them to be with Him and learn who He was and who His Father was. Peter’s response was dead on! Jesus noted that Peter did not get this from his own fleshly understanding, but His Father in heaven had revealed this truth to Peter. It was this truth that Jesus would use to build His church upon! Jesus was the Messiah and long awaited Savior. He came from His Father, the only Living God. Knowing Jesus as the Son of God was only possible by revelation.
This basic truth is so important for us today. Jesus is building His Church on this truth. It is part of the Gospel message of the kingdom that is revealed to those with humble and teachable hearts. Confession of sin and repentance through faith to Jesus Christ, Son of the living God is the only way to the Father. Who is Jesus to you? Can you confess Him as the Christ?
Greetings on this day of worship and rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ! I pray that all is well with your soul and that you are gathering with God’s people to celebrate our Savior and His victory over death, hell, and Satan! Nothing really replaces your physical presence with God’s people. You are needed and important to the function of His Body as they gather together. Each part is vital and completes Christ’s Body as they come together in common purpose.
As I look back on this past week’s readings, one of the key questions that Luke and the other Gospel writers sought to answer was the question of who Jesus was. Jesus, Himself, questioned His disciples about this. (Luke 9:18-21) As Jesus preached to the poor the good news and healed the sick and cast out demons, large crowds gathered to see what might happen and to try to get in on the action. There were many opinions about who Jesus actually was. In Jesus’ home town, He was just the “carpenter’s son”. To the Pharisee’s, He was a renegade teacher who broke their rules and threatened their monopoly on the people’s respect. To some, He was “John the Baptist” come back from the dead. To others, He was “Elijah” after raising the widow’s son in the town of Nain. To others, He was one of the old prophets come back to life.
The key question for Jesus’ disciples from Jesus was, “Who do you say I am?” (Luke 9:20-21) Peter answered immediately, “The Christ of God.” This is a key question for us who live in the last days. Many in the church have varying opinions of who Jesus is. Some think He was a great teacher. Others believe He is one of many ways to come to God. Others think He was just a “spirit”, not a man and certainly not the “Son of God.” The revelation that Jesus is the Christ can come only from God by the Holy Spirit as we open our hearts in faith. (Matthew 16:17) Confirm again today what you believe about Jesus Christ! Confess that with your mouth and your actions by attending public worship!
In His Love, Pastor John