Series: Who Do You Say I Am?
Message: Who Do You Say I Am?
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 78:59-64.
Read: Matthew 16:13-24 (NIV). As you read the New International Version, note 1-3 insights.
Reflect: I can’t say I love you if I don’t follow those words through with action. Words without reality attached are simply squiggly lines or shapes with no significance. History is full of political promises that have failed. It is full of leadership promises that have failed. It is full of tribal religious promises that have failed. It is full of fidelity promises that have failed. It is full of parental promises that have failed. There is no area of life that we have not experienced failure or seen others experience it. In fact, the apostle Paul reminds us of his own personal journey—which is also our journey—in Romans 7. It says that we all fail at being disciples. Yet that fact does not and should not stop us from making political promises. From making leadership promises. From making tribal religious promises. From making love promises. From making parental promises. God can transform these promises into beautiful things. The sooner we embrace the truth that the transforming power comes from God, the easier it will be for us to grow and change. Frederick Dale Bruner shares this beautiful insight:
It is not Peter’s character, religious sensitivity, sincerity, openness, or anything in Peter that enables him to believe who Jesus and to make the good confession. It is, and always is, the Father who gives saving faith. We are remind of Jesus’ programatic statement in this Gospel: “No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and the one who whom the Son choose to reveal him” (11:27). . . . In another evangelist’s witness, Jesus reminds his disciples, “You did not choose me; I chose you” (John 15:16). Recall that the disciples whose joining with Jesus is recorded in this Gospel were all called into discipleship; they did not initiate their joining (4:18-22; 9:9). When anyone knows God the Father, it is the work of Jesus Christ the Son; and conversely, as here in Peter’s case, when anyone knows the Son it is the unaided and unmerited gift of the Father that makes this knowing possible . . . faith in Jesus is a gift (Matthew: A Commentary, Vol. 2, p. 125).
Jesus knows us better than we could ever imagine. His desire is for us to never give up, because we are His children. Satan takes our failures and reminds us of them often so that we lose track of our mission. Jesus takes our failures and reminds us that today is a new day—and with Him, it can be amazing.
Respond: Pray for transformation.
Research: What spiritual disciplines help you grow your faith?