Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.—Matthew 16:13-18
For the disciples, this initial question by Jesus probably felt inquisitive and curious. Jesus seems to be saying, "You're my eyes and ears out there, so what's the word on the street about me?" So they give an answer to this seemingly innocent question the best shot, and a few of the men rattle off popular soundbites. But then Jesus asks the same question but personalizes it with the pronoun "you." He stops, turns to them, and looks them straight in the eye: "But what about you? Who do you say that I am?" I assume there was a slight change in the tone.
But why does Jesus need to ask this question? Why the personalization?
Maybe because the disciples were always wavering in confidence. We witness this multiple times throughout the narrative in Matthew, moments they appear to lack confidence, and at times Jesus helps them in their disbelief. But now, Jesus is turning towards Jerusalem—and his final days. Jesus knows that his end is in sight, and he wants the disciples to firm up their belief and stop the vacillating. With his personalized question, he wants a verbal assurance that they get it, and they are confident in who he is, no longer uncertain, but resolute.
But what about you? Who do you say Jesus is?
Remember, Jesus is not merely a nice guy, a compassionate man, an inspirational leader, or a remarkable teacher—he is, as Peter said, the Son of the Living God.
As we begin this journey towards Jerusalem with Jesus, take time in prayer to tell Jesus who he is to you—personally. Avoid the cliches; make it memorable and personal. In scripture, he is the Living God, but who is he to you?
This week we are focusing on the discipline of prayer. So each of the Calls To Action below will involve the activity of prayer. Prayer is merely having a short conversation with God. One of the best ways to do this is by talking out loud with Him, so it might be best to find a quiet place to do this for the next few minutes.
DO THIS: Your Call To Act (C.T.A.) today is:
- Write: in the comments below, describe who Jesus is to you in 1-5 words. For example, "Jesus is the power of my salvation."
- Pray: for 5-minutes, sharing with God why you chose these 1-5 words.
⚡Share That You Accomplished Today's Challenge