Luke 9:18-22 – Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

 

Perhaps the most challenging question for the world to give an answer to is, “Who is Jesus?”   On the occasion of our scripture reference, Jesus is still teaching His disciples and training them for the mission that will be theirs when His work is finished.  Following a time of private prayer, He asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”  It is important for the disciples to be aware of public opinion concerning the identity of Jesus?  THEY are soon to become the mission field!  The majority of the public at that time considered Jesus to be John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the long ago prophets come back to life.  Today, it’s very hard to get a good read on public opinion about Jesus. Many do not even want to consider Him and will avoid the question.  Others will place Him in a similar place with the crowds of Jesus’ day, and identify Him as a great teacher, a prophet or religious leader.  The mainstream public has great difficulty dealing with the unique personhood of Jesus, the records of His life and teaching, and His personal claims about Himself.

 

“But what about you?”  Who do you say He is?  Jesus has this way of drawing us out of the mainstream and making us personally accountable for what we believe about Him!  Will we just go along with the crowds and agree with their sentiments, or will we examine His character, His teaching, His conduct, His motives and draw our own conclusions?  Peter’s answer was quite different from the assessment of the crowds, “The Christ of God.”  To believe that Jesus is God’s promised Messiah and deliverer is dramatically different from the opinion of the crowds!  Was Peter simply buttering up His mentor or did he really believe that Jesus was THE CHRIST OF GOD? Historical and Biblical evidence will show that Peter really believed that what he believed about Jesus was really real!  But what about you?  Are you satisfied to join with the opinion of the crowds concerning Jesus, or do you really believe, like Peter, that He is the Christ of God?

 

Jesus STRICTLY WARNED them not to tell anyone that He was the Christ of God.  If word of this got out from His closest followers, it could spread like wildfire and create problems that might interfere with His impending suffering, rejection, persecution, murder and resurrection!  Jesus is still teaching them.  Now they know who Jesus is and the road He must travel in the process of delivering His people from the bondage and tyranny of sin.  When these things finally took place they would call to remembrance what Jesus said on this occasion.  And they would remember that He was not just another prophet or teacher, He was indeed THE CHRIST OF GOD!

 

 

Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.

 

Friday: Pray for the Good News families of the week: Frank & Anna Diehl, Phil DiMora, Ruth Doolittle.

 

Saturday: Meditate on all the Biblical declarations of Jesus’ identity.

 

Sunday: Worship Jesus, the Christ of God!

 

Monday: Give thanks for His suffering, rejection, crucifixion and resurrection.

 

Tuesday: Pray that others will recognize who Jesus really is and not just go along with the crowd.

 

Wednesday: Give praise to God for deliverance from the bondage and tyranny of sin.

 

Prayer Challenge: Join with John the Revelator in acknowledging the identity of Jesus.

 

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  (Revelation 19:11-16).

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