You are the Christ, the son of the living God

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

It is important how people see you. It is equally crucial and vital to receive feedback about what people think of and about you – particularly those who are around you always. Our Lord Jesus conducted what today is called ‘an opinion poll’ to evaluate whether His disciples understood His mission and what they personally knew about Him and His ministry. First He quizzed them, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:13-14)

With that backdrop our Lord posed another more direct question. He moved from the public domain to the realm of the personal, conscious state. “But what about you, who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15) Simon Peter, the head disciple, answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

The first response was general in nature. The people had figured that our Lord Jesus must have been a prophet in the order of the great prophets of Old Testament times. In fact, the three names mentioned constituted, along with Moses, the greatest of all prophets. However, they lost sight of the fact that our Lord Jesus could not be compared with the prophets. He was head over heels above them. John the Baptist recognised Him as the Lamb of God that would take away the sins of the Lord and rightly so. (John 1:28)

John the Baptist was the messenger announcing the coming of the Messiah. Prophet Elijah was mentioned because he was one of great renown in that he raised the dead. Furthermore he did not experience death -- a natural death -- he was raptured (taken up into heaven). Prophet Jeremiah was known as the suffering servant -- a model of the suffering our Lord Jesus would be identified with. “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like my suffering that was inflicted on me, that the Lord brought on me in the day of His fierce anger?” (Lamentations 1:12)

To Simon Peter’s answer, our Lord Jesus’ reaction came swiftly: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (hell) will not overcome it. 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.” (Matthew 16:17-19) Simon Peter had received a revelation from God about who our Lord Jesus is.

It did not stop there. At the Transfiguration, Peter along with James and John would be given a confirmation of what the Spirit had revealed to Simon Peter when they would behold Him in the company of Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop, all dressed in dazzling white robes. Our Lord was transfigured (changed) before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” (Matthew 17:2) Our Lord Jesus appeared in all His glory and splendour as He conferred with prophets Moses and Elijah on matters relating to His crucifixion and death.

Perplexed at the sight, Peter made this pronouncement: “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters---one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (Matthew 17:4) “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said: “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5b) The circumstances are no longer the same. More than a revelation, Peter hears the voice of God that seemed to correct Peter about equating His Son Jesus to the other two prophets who were with Him. Here God Himself spoke to the hearing of Peter and his colleagues to correct his misconception of putting our Lord Jesus on the same pedestal as Moses and Elijah. “Listen to Him!”

The report continued: “When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.” Not until our Lord Jesus “came and touched them and said: “Get up, don’t be afraid,” (Matthew 17:7) did they come to their senses. The first time we hear the voice of God thunder like this was at our Lord Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan. As He was coming out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11)

Jesus is the Christ, the Promised Messiah who had come from the Father in order to show us the Father. When our Lord Jesus met with the Samaritan woman at the well, He requested for a drink. The woman said to Him; “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink? (For Jews do not associate with Samaritan.)  The Lord replied; “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10) In the course of their exchange, our Lord Jesus explained to the Samaritan woman that He was the water of life. “... but whoever drinks the water I give him, will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

At this the woman said to Him “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:15)

Our Lord Jesus has the solution to all the problems of life. He is not dead; He is alive and is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

Develop a personal relationship with Him so that you also can have an answer to give anyone who asks you why you are boasting about Him. Paul writes; “Always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” in Him. (1 Peter 3:15) 

Author: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye