Jesus, You are the promised King. I give You my undivided allegiance.
Read Matthew 16:13–20
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIs Jesus all you thought he would be or has he disappointed you?
Today’s passage begins with a geographical reference, the significance of which is easy to miss if you don’t have a map on hand. Jesus takes his disciples a full two days’ walk from the Sea of
Galilee, off to the far north of Israel where they are safely clear of Herod Antipas, before starting the conversation he knew would lead them to name him “Messiah.” This detail helps us grasp the danger of even vocalizing the idea that Jesus was the long-awaited anointed king. The Jews were divided over the specifics of what the Messiah would accomplish and how, but they knew he would free them from oppression. Given the current situation, it made sense to hope the Messiah might overthrow the Romans. The authorities were understandably sensitive to Messiah claims.
But what Jesus says to Simon shows his kingdom is not a geopolitical empire, but a community of people obedient to their king: “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (18). It is through the church that God will put the world to rights—a church made up of flawed and weak sinners, forgiven and free and empowered by Jesus. Simon, now Peter, was still figuring Jesus out, but he understood that Jesus was the Messiah, the One the world had been waiting for.
“What about you? Who do you say I am?” (15). Write down who you say Jesus is. Do you know? Do you need to know him better?
Jesus, I want to know You. Show me who You are.
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