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  • East Martin CRC

But What Do You Say

Matthew 16:13-20

Verse 15 “But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?”

This was a special time between friends and Jesus uses the intimacy of the moment to ask an important question. He needed them to voice who they thought He was. So in a gracious manner He eased into the topic by asking who others said He was. This was a good way to see who was influencing their thinking and who they were listening to. Like a teenager being asked what friends thought about their parents, Jesus knew that peer pressure can be strong and if they were listening to others, they could be missing the truth of who He was.

The list they gave shows the wide scope of thinking and questioning about who Jesus was. Then Jesus got real personal, "What about you? Who do you say that I am?" The word Jesus used for "you" was the plural, so He was addressing the whole group not just Peter, but Peter being the spokesman for the group replied, identifying Jesus as the Messiah. They don't say, "we believe You to be the Messiah" or even, "You may be the Promised One". No, they say, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." This was a declaration of His being God's Son and the One that God had long promised. This was big! They had made passing comments about who He was various times through the years but this was the first time they said it with certainty. But did they know yet what that meant? Not yet, but He will start explaining it to them as they head to Jerusalem for Passover.

Not all of them would fully accept His being the Messiah. Judas decided that Jesus wasn't the Messiah he had hoped for. We can fall into that trap too. We put Jesus in a box, hoping He will be what we think the Messiah should be; the one that allows us to live as we see fit but still forgives us, but that isn't what the Messiah came to do. He came to bring us a new and different life. Who do you say He is?

Making it personal

Have you made the personal declaration that Jesus is the Son of God and the Promised redemption for our sins? Does knowing Jesus as the Messiah make a difference in your life? Do those around you know that you declare Him as Lord? Have they heard it from your lips?

Making it personal kids

Who was Jesus? How does it make you feel to know that one of the reasons that Jesus came to die was because of the bad things you do? Do you love Jesus because He died for your sins? Do you tell other people who Jesus is?

Closing prayer

Father, we proclaim You as the Messiah. You are the Son of the living God! Thank You for giving up Your throne in Heaven to come and die for our sins. In Jesus' name, amen.

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