13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 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. 19 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.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Who am I? This is one of the great questions that each of us ask ourselves. I remember as a teenager I was constantly trying different things that would say, “this is who I am”. I tried parting my hair in the middle and wearing a silver twisted chain necklace. I was trying to identify that I was cool. I also tried diving into golf and trying to be just like my dad. I wore khaki pants and a casual three button shirt. This didn’t go well either. My golf wasn’t all that. Then I tried doing the name brand approach. That meant wearing “Members Only” jacket. I thought if I wore the right clothes I’d be popular. I was searching – what would it take to make me cool, popular and that would get the girls attention. The problem here is that I was addressing how I looked, not who I am. I am a pretty happy, laid back, person. Sometimes, I’m too laid back. I am the kind of guy that, once I find something that fits my lifestyle, I am loyal to that. I wear the same type of shoes and jeans. If I find a brand that works for me, I stick with it. But none of that really matters. When I finally met the girl of my dreams; she didn’t care what I wore…she only cared about who I was. Fortunately, I was just what she was looking for and she was perfect in my eyes.
Most importantly, I am a Christian, and I try to find the balance between my personality and my faith. This means I’m not legalistic and I try to be a positive, up beat person that represents the heart of God accurately. This means remembering that I am an ambassador that I’m here to let people know that there is hope in Jesus. I’m not the judge and jury of others. I am, however, human and I am not always a good ambassador. I make mistakes. I am so thankful that God’s grace is at work in my life and I can rest in the knowledge that I am a work in progress and that God loves me and his holy spirit is present in my life to guide and empower me to be the person that God created me to be.
In Matthew 16:13-20, we are told that Jesus went to the region of Caesarea Philippi. He had asked His disciples to tell Him who the locals are saying that He is. The locals were identifying Him as others who they were familiar with. But that wasn’t accurate. They were trying to identify Him in the context of their best understanding and their limited knowledge. Since they hadn’t met Him, they didn’t know who He was. Also, because they didn’t know Him in the context of who He was and why He had come; they didn’t know who they were in the context of Who He was. They didn’t know he was the messiah that they had been waiting for. The one who would pay the price that would make a way for them to have a relationship with God. This was something that no one could do in and of themselves. Peter knew Jesus and more importantly was beginning to get it. He said, “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God”. Jesus told Peter that this was something he did not learn in his own understanding; but that God had revealed this to him. As Peter followed Jesus, he would grow in his understanding of what that would mean for him, and how that would impact his life. Peter was human and would act in purely human ways in the future, but he would also be known for his faith, and he would be Known for his loyalty and commitment to Jesus. He would be a great ambassador for God because he knew who he was in the context of Jesus Christ.
What we look like on the outside, and how we live, should reflect who we are on the inside. Jesus is asking each of us the question, “who do you say I am”? Our answer is very important. If we acknowledge that He is the son of God who came and died on the cross for our sins, more importantly that he rose again and has conquered death and sin. If we believe that He lives and sits by the right hand of His father – God, who is the creator of Heaven and earth. The one who created us and loves us. Then we have to ask ourselves the question, “what am I going to do with this knowledge”. Am I going to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, repent of my sins – turn from my wicked ways and follow Him, or am I going to ignore who He is and continue to do my own thing? Today, I can tell you that I am unique and wonderfully made. I am a co-heir of Jesus Christ. I can tell you that my God, loves me and has always desired a personal relationship with me; Just like he had with Adam and Eve. That while on earth He desires me to be an ambassador for Him, and to tell others of the hope they have in Jesus Christ. He doesn’t care what I wear or how I style my hair. He cares that I know Him and act in a way that best represents Him to the world.
This is His desire for you as well. To be able to view life in context of His son. It is important that we live our lives in the context of who we are in the context of Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. Now I ask you to ask yourself some questions: “Who am I”, and “Who do I say Jesus is”, and finally, “What am I going to do with that knowledge”? I hope and pray that you will choose to acknowledge Him as your Lord and Savior. The one who died for your sins and the one who conquered death so you could have a relationship with God. Not just know about Him. But to know Him in the context of who He is. It is not a complicated thing and you don’t have to have the perfect life to start today. Just take a moment and have an honest talk with God. Tell Him that you know you’re a sinner and that you don’t want to be that person any more. Acknowledge who is, and ask him to forgive you. Choose to put the old you in the past and to be the new you in the context of what He has done for you. Jesus takes care of the rest and will lead you, as you choose to follow Him. Fill free to contact me if you have any questions.