Read Matthew 16:13-20
Have you ever been sightseeing and find yourself overwhelmed with the history of a certain location? This happened to me 7 years ago when I was fortunate enough to be a part of a group that traveled to Israel. We saw incredible sights the entire week, many of which you find yourself just in awe being anywhere close to the site of historical and biblical events. One day, we traveled to Caesarea Philippi. Up until that point, I had heard about it and knew it was in the Bible having to do with Peter confessing Christ. However, a new perspective swept over me when you’re actually standing on the same rock in the same location Jesus was all those years ago.
This hole in a cave was a pagan center of worship. People would sacrifice animals and throw them down into the hole which was believed to be the entrance to Hell itself. The magnitude of being at that exact location was overwhelming. There were carvings in the wall that portrayed the sacrifices that took place there. Definitely an eerie feeling.
It was at this location that Jesus took His disciples and asked them who people said that He was. The disciples gave Him some generic answers like, “John the Baptist”, “Elijah” and even “Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. This wasn’t the answer Jesus was looking for.
“Who do you say that I am?”
You may be reading this and think that you know who Jesus is. Perhaps Jesus is someone that you talk to when things get rough. Maybe your only knowledge of Jesus comes in December when you hear the Christmas story read. Do you really know Him? Do you know what He has done for you and wants to do through you even today?
When Jesus asked the disciples directly who they thought He was, Peter responded by saying:
“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Peter was confessing that Jesus was who He said He was. Through all that he had experienced during his time with Jesus, Peter was confessing that Jesus was the anointed Savior of the world. Upon hearing this, Jesus said, “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (the grave) will not overcome it.” It is unclear if Jesus was referring to the literal rock they were standing on or on the truth that Peter just confessed.
Regardless, who do you say Jesus is? Do you say that He was a good guy? Do you say that He was a guy who said a lot of controversial things and performed miracles? Or do you say that He is the anointed Savior of the world? Will you allow Him to occupy that place in your life? Do you know for a fact that, even today, He can save you from your sin problem that is putting you on the fast track to Hell?
Will you confess that Jesus is who He said He is? Will you identify Jesus as Messiah in your life? Imagine all that He can do through you if your foundation is the same truth Peter confessed!
Questions to consider:
- What does this name of Jesus mean to you?
- What are the consequences of not putting Jesus in His rightful place in your life?
- How have you benefited from Jesus being #1 in your life?