Thursday, September 24, 2009

Daily - 9/24/09

Luke 9:18-22

18 Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"

19 They said in reply, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, 'One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'"

20 Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "The Messiah of God."

21 He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

22 He said, "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised."

Interesting that Christ asks the disciples what people are saying about him before he dives deeper. The people are saying the same thing that Herod heard -- maybe John the Baptist, maybe Elijah, maybe an ancient prophet.

Then Jesus puts it to them. What do they say?

How'd you like to be in the room for this discussion? I bet there were guys looking at each other, or looking down, or trying not to make eye contact, just like kids do when they don't want to be called on in school. But Peter steps forward and responds with the ultimate confession of faith - The Messiah of God.

Matthew's passage describing this event highlights just how important this confession was:

Matthew 16:13-20

13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"

14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16 Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

17 Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

20 Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah.

Note that Christ tells Peter that that this revelation does not come from man, but directly from God. This is an important thing for us to understand in our own spiritual lives. I need to remind myself that I don't "uncover" God through some insightful intellectual exercise -- through great meditation, through intense study, through deduction of logic. God reveals himself, according to His plan and schedule.