Bible Society of South Africa
Frank Retief

Remember his strength – Day 13

You are the Christ

Bible text(s)

29“What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

Peter's Declaration about Jesus

13Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi, where he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14“Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”

15“What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

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

17“Good for you, Simon son of John!” answered Jesus. “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven. 18And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

20Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Matthew 16:13-20GNBOpen in Bible reader

Have you ever wondered why it is that which is so clear to you about Jesus and the Gospel message, seems so difficult and obscure to others? Or why, when in a church service, you can be so moved, yet others next to you, on the same pew, seem utterly untouched by the message?

Here is a strange and profound truth. Just as Simon could not have recognised Jesus as the Messiah in and of his own understanding, neither can we comprehend the truth about Jesus, unless it is given to us to understand. God, in his great grace, opens our eyes and, suddenly, we can see what was formerly hidden from us.

This should be a cause of wonder and praise that, in his great mercy, he should have opened our eyes to the truth. All the healings of blind beggars or people in the gospel foreshadowed this great event – the Holy Spirit opening our understanding so that we may believe in Christ and be saved.

As a result, we should walk very humbly before God, in full awareness that we are what we are by his mercy and grace alone. Consequently, when we encounter those who do not understand, comprehend or believe the gospel, we should deal with them in great humility and with compassion – not argumentatively or arrogantly. For once, we too were blind and could not see. We should pray that God would be gracious and open their understanding, so that they may see and believe with their hearts.

This should also be a reminder to us that we cannot simply argue or persuade people to believe. That must be the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and minds. This should lead us to pray earnestly for our loved ones and friends, so that as we have opportunity to speak, our words will be accompanied by the life-giving power of the Spirit. And may we then have the joy of seeing many come to faith, because of God’s gracious revelation to their hearts.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.6
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