Defining Jesus


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 4,5; Psalm 139; Matthew 16

Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 16:13-20

 

How are you doing?  What do you do?  How old are your kids?  Will you marry me?  Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?  Are you listening to me?  Do you know how fast you were going?  We are asked many questions in this life.  They start as early as the day of our births, and continue at a constant pace all the way through our last day.  Some of the questions are mundane, while others are amazingly important.  Some will change our lives forever, while others will be forgotten almost as quickly as they were asked.  In today’s key passage, we see what is perhaps the most important question you will ever have to answer.  How you choose to answer this question will define your entire life, and will dictate how you spend eternity.

Jesus was walking with His disciples when he asked them how other people were defining Him.  The disciples told Jesus that some people were claiming that He was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.  That is when Jesus popped the big question.  He asked the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Vs. 15)  It seems like an innocent enough question, amazing in its own simplicity, but the answer to this question is indescribably important.  Peter immediately spoke up for the entire group and answered Jesus by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Vs. 16)  To this, Jesus replied, “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 will not overcome it.” (Vss. 17-18)  Peter correctly defined Jesus, and in return, Jesus defined Peter.

I think people spend a lot of time trying to figure out who they are.  They attempt to understand what it is that they stand for in life.  Who are they?  Who are they going to be?  What is the plan for their lives, and how do they get there?  It is important to realize, though, that defining yourself is difficult if not impossible.  Self-assessment is inherently difficult because we simply have too many biases to deal with as we attempt to look at ourselves impartially.  If you truly want to figure out who you are, you must first answer the question of who you say Jesus is.  You cannot simply rely on how other people define Jesus.  I can tell you that Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life, and your pastor can tell you that Jesus Christ is the Lord of his or her life, but that does not really mean a lot when it comes to you personally.  You have to answer the question.  You have to define Him.  Moreover, there is no middle ground answer – either He is the Lord of YOUR life or He is not.  Either He is the most important thing to you or He is not.  If you say He was a great man, a great teacher, or a great prophet, you are not necessarily wrong you are simply incomplete in your answer.  Jesus was all of these things, but He is so much more than that.  The only complete answer is the one that Peter gave.  The only answer that truly honors the sacrifice He made for each of us is the one that Peter gave.  The only answer that guarantees eternal salvation is the one the Peter gave.  Interestingly, once you define Jesus as the Lord of your life, He will turn around and define exactly who you are just as He did for Peter.  He will show you who you are today, and He will show you who you will become.  More importantly, He will start to change you to make you the person you can be.  If you really want to define yourself, first define Jesus.  After that, let Jesus take over and make you who He wants you to be.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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Posted on April 29, 2013, in 01 - Matthew and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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