Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:27
The people thought Jesus was a prophet. Whether it was John the Baptist, Elijah, or whoever, at this point the general population still saw him as someone who spoke and acted for God through the Spirit.
But those who were with Jesus all the time saw something different. Peter answered, but Jesus had been asking all of the disciples, and I think Peter spoke for the lot of them:
“We think you’re the Messiah.”
You know, our perspective is different when we spend a lot of time with someone. Do you want to see Jesus as more amazing? Me too. Then we need to spend more time with him. Read the gospels and picture Jesus, or listen to them. (I’ve been listening to the Bible app more, just streaming scriptures while I work. It is great!)
Yes, in the parallel account in Matthew, Jesus tells Peter that this knowledge was revealed to him by God. But I think the knowledge clicked because they saw so clearly how Jesus lived his life. It made perfect sense to them in the context of what he had been doing.
Lately I’ve been conversing with Jesus like he is right there with me. Yesterday afternoon I was feeling low. I’d just read a chapter in the “Healing for Damaged Emotions Workbook.” It had me list how I saw myself. I listed all kinds of inadequacies, and just articulating all of this made me feel down for awhile. Tears squeezed out of my eyes at times. Finally I looked over at the passenger seat and “talked” with Jesus. “How can feel better?” I asked. I went on to dump on him at bit.
Then the answer came to me, that the root of most people’s problems is low self esteem. For me to heal, or for anyone to heal, we need to see more and more that we are a special creation of God, one God BELIEVES in, just as He believed in Peter when he called him the “rock,” or in Nathaniel when he called him a “true Israelite.” We’re worth dying for. We’re worth being entrusted with God’s most important mission. Why else did He bring each of us in an individual way to salvation? And what the people of the world need is someone to BELIEVE in them, to communicate to them that they are awesome. I need to pass it on.
Too much of the time I focus on sin and obedience. And repentance is important. But it’s important because sin corrodes the beautiful self God created us to be. It sabotages the way we could fulfill our purpose and destiny. We want to get rid of the dysfunction, the slap in God’s face. But sinning doesn’t mean I am innately flawed. And that’s what I feel, like I can’t do anything right because something about me is messed up. Focus on worth is what we all need.
So the point of this is that by spending time with Jesus, the Spirit revealed an answer to me. What happened with Peter can still happen!
And the result is the same too, because that revelation made me feel the POWER of who Jesus really is. He can fix my life. He isn’t just a prophet. He is the way, the truth and the life.
It’s funny. The Bible lesson for Kids’ Kingdom this Sunday is “Time with the Disciples.” It’s about how Jesus and the disciples DID THINGS TOGETHER. They walked and talked together, probably ate together, prayed together, discussed scriptures together.
Do I do all these things with Jesus, getting to know him, giving the Spirit a chance to work? This is a challenge!
“Who do you say I am?”
The answer to this is important, because if a nice religious man calls us it’s one thing, but if the SON OF GOD believes in us, it will make a huge difference in our lives.
The “Healing for Damaged Emotions” book goes on, after helping us realize the wrong way we view ourselves, to inspire —
“It’s time we have some bold dreams . . . Probably your dream has been delayed or destroyed because Satan tricked you into thinking of yourself as a grasshopper or a worm. And as a result you never have realized your full potential as a son or daughter of God. . . (To quote William Carey:) ‘Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.'”
Today, expect great things and attempt great things. We have the Messiah, the very heart of God, to SPEND TIME WITH, who wants to be close to us, walk with us, share secrets with us, work amazing things with us. Let’s dream a little bolder and live a little bigger!