Who Do You Say Jesus Is?
– by Michelle Du Toit
“Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 16:17-18
This question is still valid today. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea in Matthew 16:13-18, He knew it as being religious and superstitious. “He asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”” Then He asked them. “Who do you say I am?”” Each of us has to make up our own minds who we say Jesus is. The answer to this question often forms the very basis of what we believe and experience. Some think Jesus is our ATM. Whenever we need money to meet our needs, we go to the nearest ATM and draw it. We think of God like this: God blesses me and meets my needs. Whenever I need something, I go to Him and He blesses me. This is His primary role in my life. We know who God is, but all we really want is the blessing.
Pharaoh knew who God was when the Lord struck down his first born. Then, Pharaoh was ready to let the Israelites go, but he wanted to be blessed also. (Gen 12:32) Even Esau was more interested in the blessing to be received, than a relationship with his Father. (Gen 27:38) We “name it and claim it” from the Lord, seeking what He has to provide to us, rather than seeking Him as Lord in relationship. It is more likely that we will be told “Insufficient funds!” This is when there is not enough put into the relationship to expect anything out of the relationship. Yes, God longs to bless us. But this is not His primary role and function in our lives. Neither does He want us to seek a relationship with Him only for the blessings that we will receive. Blessings follow obedience and blessing follows as evidence of an already obedient life. Simon Peter knew what the right answer was to the question: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because My Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from a human being.” – Matt 16:13-18. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us, not as our ATM, but as our Lord and Saviour who longs for a personal relationship with you and I. “If Christ is not all to you, He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as part Saviour of men. If He be something He must be everything, and if He be not everything, He is nothing to you.” – Charles H. Spurgeon.
JOY! Magazine (December 2017)