Matthew 16:13 And coming into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say Me to be, the Son of Man?
Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say, John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
Matthew 16:15 He said to them, But who do you say I am?
Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
(This is is a combination of two devotions I did while serving at CCBCE)
It is interesting that Peter had the right answer. Jesus is the Messiah, that the Jews had been waiting for so long. And Peter had the right answer BEFORE he saw Jesus crucified and risen. Today most of us know who Jesus is Because we know not only the things that Peter did at that point in Jesus' life but we also know He was crucified and was resurrected.
Even today non-Christian people have opinions on who Jesus was:
A good teacher
A very wise man
A good and kind man who had some powers
Or people from the New Age movement say that he tapped into his inner resources and was able to do things we could all do if we knew how to.
But the second part of this passage is for us today:
Who do WE say Jesus is?
So, who do you say Jesus is?
The first thing you do, when you go to answer that question, is come up with the easy answers:
the Son of God.
Those aren't really answers to this question though.
Those are answers to "who is Jesus?":
The saviour of the world,
the Son of God
The King of Kings
The Lord of all
But that is NOT the question.
The question is Not "who is Jesus" but "who is Jesus to you?"
I want you to think about that today. "Who is Jesus to you?"
You will not all come up with the same answers.
In fact some of you don't know the answer to that question.
People come to Bible College for many reasons:
To get to know Jesus better,
get closer to Him,
Study the Bible.
some come for other reasons:
We have had homeless people here, and after they left here, judging by their actions after they left, you can tell they came here because it was a place they could get a bed and three meals a day. And live in a pleasant place. You can tell by how they live their lives after they left, they did NOT come here to learn about Jesus.
We have had people come here because it is easier than the life they are living at home.
We have had people come here hoping that they could find the peace in their lives that Christians have.
In fact, I am guessing there is probably one person in each of your dorm rooms that is here for some reason other than Jesus and that has never really accepted the Lord.
In a few years you will probably find yourself in the same position as many other former Bible College students. One day you will hear that one of your roommates has abandoned the Christian faith.
How does this happen? How does a person attend one or more semesters of Bible College and learn such cool things about our Lord, get to hang out with such radical Christians as yourselves, and then just walk away from it? How does that happen? I don't have the answers for that but I think this question, Matthew 16:15 "Who do you say I am?" Is the answer.
We tend to think that if we show someone the love of Christ that it will be so irresistible to them that they will want to become a Christian. The Bible even tells us something sort of like that "they will know you are Christians by your love for one another".
And sometimes we think that is enough. Well, in this place, here at our Bible College, there is a lot of love for each other. There always has been. So, obviously just showing love for one another is not enough to bring someone to the Lord.
A few months ago Lori and I visited a church.
The day we were there one of the guys that had been going to that church for 5+ years met with the pastor and told the pastor that he would not be coming back to the church anymore.
He told the pastor he had been raised in the church, and had attended this church for a long time but he has realized that he never really believed. He came to church because he liked hanging out with Christians.
So why did he like hanging out with Christians? Probably because of their love. He felt loved at church, by the Christians there, so he enjoyed coming to church for that reason.
This is what we are supposed to do, love one another. And it is the right thing to do, but it is not enough.
Now I am not saying it is wrong to love each other, and it is not wrong to love non-Christians. I am glad no one went out while this guy was in church, and stole his hubcaps, but love isn't the entire answer.
I am guessing no one asked this guy how he and Jesus were getting along. Or what he thought of Jesus, or what he was learning in his Bible study times. Or even what he thought of the church service he just attended.
I am guessing they just loved the guy. (he is a loveable guy)
Just loving people is not enough to get them into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Or, maybe it is. Maybe when we think we are loving people we are not actually loving them. Maybe we are nice to people and we think that is loving them?
Dusty is a very loving person, she shows love to lots of people and it is a great example of showing the love to Christ. But what if I fell down the stairs here (which at my age is a good possibility) and was laying in a pile at the bottom of the stairs and there is no one around. And then Dusty walks by and sees me laying there and says "Hi Mike, that looks like you may have hurt yourself, gosh I am really sorry about that" and she walks away and doesn't go get me a doctor, is that really loving? Or is is just ACTING loving?
Sometimes people don't need you to be nice to them. Sometimes they need you to help them. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do to someone is get in their face. Confront them. Point out their sin, and do it in a way they can hear what you are saying. Sometimes words said in a loving manner are ignored.
Maybe loving someone means not, just, being kind to your roommates, not just being compassionate with them. Maybe love means you talk to them.
"Who is Jesus to you?" Ask them that question.
If you have never ask Jesus into your heart, into your life and you know He is calling you, now is the time. The life He has for you is far better than the life you are living.
Author: Mike Pritchard
Who do you say Jesus is? Leave me a comment:
A master at the Joomla cms his other skills include custom html, css and PhotoShop, he has reached expert status in all three. Mike is experienced with forms, search engine optimization, server & email setups, print graphics and multi-language websites. Also skilled in mobile friendly websites, he enjoys the challenge of designing websites that display correctly on all devices.
In 2003 he left his life in the states to become a missionary with Calvary Chapel in Hungary, at the Bible College there. He enjoyed his time serving the Lord overseas, and found that serving God is an amazing adventure.
Since his return to the US he is now a full-time web-designer.
"I love serving Jesus and I love doing web-design, so when I get to the opportunity to do church and ministry websites I am very excited" says Mike.
So if you are looking for a web-designer for your church website or ministry contact Mike at Mike@PritchardWebpages.com he offers a free, one-hour consultation.