As Jesus was approaching the area of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His Apostles an unusual question:”Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They claimed they’d heard people say he was”John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, as well as one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:13, 14) Notice that the names were of deceased folks. It was essentially an elevation of reincarnation. Rather than studying the prospect of a uniquely living individual, individuals focused on the past and its potential influence on the present. There had been some speculation that Jesus might be the long awaited Christ, the Messiah, but it was more of a chance than a statement of truth. To whom were the Apostles listening? It was almost like a poll taken by the liberal faction of the Jewish religionist. (Even now, polls often reflect the pollster and his pre-determined political leaning, rather than the actual consensus of the people.) I wonder if Jesus was somewhat surprised by the result of His query. Jesus then hones in on what really matters:”But who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15, 16)
I wonder how many of His Apostles had openly declared who Jesus actually was. As Jesus’ ministry gained momentum, He seemed to shield His identity as a result of direction the crowds were taking. People were more concerned with miracles, signs, and miracles. Jesus realized that when the multitudes believed He was the Messiah, they would revert to their preconceived notion that the Christ would deliver them from Roman rule.
When is the last time we just meditated on who Jesus is? When is the last time we concentrated on His personage, rather than the miracles? When is the last time we dwelt on His attributes, instead of on the benefits we received from Him? Let us spend a day just pondering on who Jesus is, and once we do, let us show to others the Jesus we’ve grown to know.
When Peter made his proclamation, Jesus told him that the only way he could know that was by a revelation from God Himself. (Matthew 16:17) The Apostle Paul stated that the Gospel he proclaimed was not a result of someone teaching him or of hearing from some individual, but through revelation from God Himself. It is not horizontal, but vertical revelation that solidifies the Believer. When we reverse the procedure, we open the door to potentially misinterpreting God’s Word. When we start in the head, our feelings and emotions will have a strong influence. When Paul received revelation, he didn’t”confer with flesh and blood,” but obediently acted without hesitation. (Galatians 1:16) How many of us have questioned our own actions? 1 moment we’re convinced of the validity of our activities, and within a short time we question if we are doing the right thing. When we act as a consequence of head knowledge, we will most likely question some of our actions. May the Holy Spirit reveal God’s Word and, when He does, let’s pursue life with no rear view mirror!