Hymn: How Sweet The Name of JESUS Sounds IN A Believers Ear
Adonai, I worship you, Son of God you are so good. Almighty God, hallowed be thy name. Your dominion is for evermore. Adonai, I worship you.
Father, we declare You are the LORD, the alpha, omega, the giver of life, the author of our salvation. We declare this is the day You have made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Father, we thank you for the gift of life, and salvation through gift of Your son Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord for provision, preservation, and all the numerous blessings and gifts You shower us with daily. Father we are grateful for help in season from Your throne of Grace, and for destiny helpers You send our way daily. Be thou exalted for ever.
BIBLE TEXT : Mathew 16 v 13-19
“When Jesus came into the region of Casesarea Phillipi, He asked His disciples, saying “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets”.(v13-14)
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?(v15)
”Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.(v16)
Jesus answered and said to him “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (v17)
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (v18)
And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (v19).
Good morning Brethren.
Today let us each consider what is our answer to the question Jesus asked of His disciples.
“But who do you say that I am?”
We have all been told over and over who Jesus is. We have heard it from parents, teachers, friends, pastors, prayer groups, the choir etc. We have read about it in books, devotionals, Sunday School lessons, tracts, banners, posters etc. We have seen it written, discussed on the internet, Facebook, Whatsapp, other social media platforms, gospel songs etc. Most of what we have heard, read, been taught, gleaned has been informative, instructive, enlightening, supportive, though some might not have been of much value.
After all the teachings, information, and sermons; each one must answer the question for him/herself. Jesus did not seem interested in a parrot answer of what His followers had heard or read. HE pushed the disciples to move from what they were hearing around them – such as John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah to what they were hearing within themselves.
John 14 v8-9 shows It is possible to be a ‘Christian’, and not really know God! Phillip after following Jesus for a number of years said to Him ”Lord show us the Father”. Jesus replied “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know ME??”
The response to Jesus question is not so much as getting the right answer. It does not require a glib, academic or theological response. It is really more about each follower, than about who Jesus is. The answer reveals who each person really is and stands up for. It guides decisions, determines actions and the words we speak. It describes the expectations and demands we place on HIM. It shows the depth of our motivation for, and commitment to following HIM.
Jesus’ question is grounded in love. HIS motive is that followers do not just know of, or about HIM, but that they know HIM.
Jesus expects each disciple’s answer to evolve as they walks with HIM. HE expects a keener, deepening personal revelation of who HE is. Along the way, our questions, doubts and insecurities should be directed to HIM, and to the Holy Spirit for clarification and support. We see such a quest in Luke 7v 19 -23 by John the Baptist. John who was Christ’s forerunner, who ministered at Christ’s baptism at which the Father and Holy Spirit appeared wavered. John had to send messengers to Jesus to clarify: “Are you the Coming one, or do we look for another?” Luke 7: 20
Apostle Paul also demonstrates that the answer to Jesus’ question, and knowing Him evolves continuously. Paul who had a personal encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road, preached Christ to the Gentiles, wrote a significant portion of the New Testament still continuously strived to know HIM. Paul’s cry in Phil 3:10 is “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death.”
Direction from and privileges in text of today:
Mathew 16:17 tells us the revelation of who Christ is, is not by flesh or blood but from the Father in heaven. We will pray for such revelation.
Mathew 16:19 tells us of a great privilege bestowed on Simon Peter, and on those who know Christ “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind in earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”. We will also pray for these privileges.
Father, I thank You for another day, mercies blessings and the gift of Your Son Jesus Christ.
Father, I ask that from the Throne of Grace I receive an ever deepening and keener personal revelation of who the Christ is.
Father, I ask for the blessings and power available to those who know the Christ. In the name of Jesus I ask for keys to the kingdom of heaven. I ask that whatever I bind on earth is bound, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven.
Thank you Father for answered prayers. Glory to Your name.