“Back to Basics: Who is He?”
Read Matthew 16:13-17
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16
How many times have you heard rumours about someone only to finally meet them and realize people were wrong? Without a doubt, the opinions of others can greatly influence our perceptions. However, we can never rely on people to give us all the facts. It is through cultivating our own personal relationships with people where we seek the objectivity necessary to inform our judgments and draw accurate conclusions.
In Matthew chapter 16, Jesus takes a moment to gauge what people are saying about Him. He questions His disciples about the public’s conclusions but then turns His attention to precisely what the disciples have to say. Widely thought to be a prophet reincarnate, it is Simon Peter who affirms that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. At this, Jesus’s inquiry is satisfied as He received the most fitting response.
For those of you who were born into the church (like I was), you’ve always been aware of God and knew about His Son Jesus Christ. For as long as you can remember, you were saved and perhaps cannot pinpoint a defining moment when you recited the Lord’s prayer. However as the years went by, you came to find that just because you grew up knowing about Jesus, does not mean that you knew Him for yourself. Until you had that personal encounter, you were simply going through the motions of a church-goer because the message of the gospel did not become real to you.
In order for you to confidently declare who Jesus is, you need a revelation of His identity. There were so many different answers that Peter could have given, however he chose to emphasize that Jesus is the Son of God. As one of Jesus’s closest disciples, Peter experienced His divine nature. His interactions with Jesus were much more intimate and therefore provided Him with knowledge of Jesus that others did not have (Matthew 17:1-5). Moreover, it is indicated that this type of revelation could not come about through “flesh and blood” but by the “Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). Rather than using that moment to teach the disciples who He is, Jesus confirms for them what they should have always known. Acknowledging Jesus for who He is then, depends on having a personal encounter which attests to the objective and unchanging Word concerning Him.
Knowing Jesus hinges on having a relationship with Him rather than being consumed with religious practices. When you truly spend time with Jesus, you will bear witness to what was written about Him in the scriptures. All other hearsay will become irrelevant and you will actively dispel myths with the universal truth. And, because of the direct impact that Jesus has on you, you will discover different facets of His character. For this reason, the identity of Jesus will never be up for debate, but will instead attest to His declaration as the Son of God (John 11:4, John 10:36).
People can tell you about someone, but there’s always a chance they will be inaccurate. Unless the truth is revealed to you by God, it’s easy to become influenced by mere gossip. So don’t settle for hearing and repeating other peoples’ interpretations or accounts of Jesus. Get to the place where you can declare who He is.
Reflection: Do you know Jesus? What is your confession of Him?
Prayer: Father God, thank You for allowing me to know Your Son Jesus Christ. I thank You for this revelation that can only come from You. I pray that You would allow me to increase my knowledge of Jesu so that I may declare who He is more and more. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Written by Deborah Nimoh