WHO AM I?
Lord, I believe You are the Messiah and the only one God intends to give.
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)
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Begin by repeating the Jesus prayer a few times: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Matthew illustrates a breadth of views about Jesus: the outright skeptical; the tentative “Could this be the Son of David?”; Herod’s “This is John the Baptist… risen from the dead!”; and the disciples’ flickering faith that solidifies at one point into identifying him as the “Son of God.” Peter nails it in his answer to Jesus’ questioning: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (16). He could not have arrived there without divine revelation—that’s what it takes. It owes not to Peter’s high IQ, nor to his well-developed spiritual perception. The same applies to us. We are called, with proper humility, to pray for blind eyes to be opened to the truth.
The setting here is highly significant. Caesarea Philippi speaks of divine and human power. It was the center of worship of the god Pan, but also the site of the white marble temple built by Herod the Great and dedicated to Augustus Caesar. In this place of religious and political importance, Jesus is proclaimed as God’s own Son, foreshadowing his subsequent claim to “all authority.” Far from holding all his power to himself, though, Jesus delegates authority to his disciples. He specifies a special task for Peter (most modern commentators agree that these words are directed towards Peter as an individual) with his important role in Jesus’ mission. Peter, flawed as he is, will be heavily involved, but the messianic community (“my church”) with Jesus as the builder (18) will collectively get the job done. “The gates of Hades,” signifying the final power of death, cannot hold it back. We are part of his unshakeable kingdom. The keys (19) may indicate that disciples will be stewards in the forthcoming kingdom; the binding and loosing may indicate that God plans to work with and through us in bringing about his will on earth, activity which presupposes authority bestowed directly from God above.
Do you feel commissioned by Jesus Christ? What has he called you to do?
Lord, give us wisdom to use wisely the authority You have vested in Your church.