Life is filled with questions, searching for answers.

15“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV)

Today I am continuing to follow the Sermon Series:  Jesus {Who is this man?}.  You can find the recorded sermons on Hope Lutheran’s website, as well as the study materials I refer to.  I encourage you to download these resources and join in the discussion!  Welcome to the group!

Scripture:  Matthew 16:13-20

13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14They 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?”

16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17Jesus 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. 18And 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. 19I 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.” 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Questions and answers

During this week’s sermon, Pastor Chuck talked about how life is filled with questions searching for answers.  Some of these questions are easy, some are hard, and some are destiny questions.  Life at times bring us to the place where we must answer these questions, and how we answer them determines our destiny.

In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus is having a conversation with his disciples.  During this conversation, Jesus asks his disciples a destiny question.  As Pastor Chuck points out in the sermon, I don’t think they really understood how significant this conversation really was.

Question 1:  Who do you say that I am?

Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13)  Why?  Why would Jesus as this question to his disciples?  My thought is, Jesus wants to know the “popular” opinion regarding his identity.  That he is trying to get a feel for what the people think about the Son of Man.

Jesus then asks his disciples, “Who do say I am?” (Matthew 16:15)  When Jesus asks this question, their conversation turned into a destiny question.  Why would he ask his disciples point blank who they thought he is?  The answer to this question will direct the destiny of this “Jesus movement”, the destiny of the Church.  If the disciples answer in the same way as the crowd, what would happen to the Church?  This was a test by Jesus, to determine the faith these men had in him, to see if they knew who he truly was.

Peter’s response to Jesus, that he is “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) has thus determined is destiny.  What are these life changing implications?  By answering this way, I believe Peter has committed his life to Jesus.  Jesus then says to Peter, “and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:18)  This tells me, Peter’s statement is as solid as a rock, and not even the devil can change it.

Seek knowledge, wisdom, and truth.

Pastor Chuck pointed out in his sermon that as Christians, we have a duty to seek knowledge, wisdom and truth about who God is and what it means for our life.  All of us, at one point, will need to answer Jesus’ question: “Who do YOU say I am?”  Our response to this destiny question will affect our lives.

When we answer, “Jesus, you are my savior and salvation. You are the Messiah.”  We then take on the challenge of his mission:  Pointing others towards God, and supporting the work of the church.

That mission will look different for each one of us.  God gives each of us different opportunities to reach out to our fellow human beings and share the good news of Jesus.

How will you respond?  Please post in the comments below.