Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16
We learn a lot from Jesus – understatement of the millennium– and in Matthew 16, we should expect nothing less. Here’s the Son of God, Jesus in the flesh, certainly not a man with an identity crisis, asking others who they say that He is. There’s so much that we can pull from this section of scripture, but as I have been studying Ephesians and our Identity in Christ I saw something completely new this past week.
Usually, we focus on the great revelation of Peter. But, I want you to see the example that Jesus sets here. He first asks His closest friends who the people around Him are saying He is.
Everywhere you go, people will be talking about you. It might be good, it might not be so good. They may be talking about your style, or your looks if they don’t know you. They may be talking about your personality or your qualities if they do know you. But, once they had answered what everyone else was saying, Jesus looked at them and said, “But who do you say that I am?” .
Sometimes we need to look our closest friends in the eye and say, “What do you see when you look at me?” This is a super-dangerous question if you aren’t prepared for the response. Before you ask, realize that you may not like the answer. Before you ask, realize that if you don’t like the answer, you might be setting yourself up for offense if you aren’t prayed up. Ask God to guard your heart and allow you to make the proper adjustments. The goal here is to be more and more like Christ daily, right?
I asked my Smallgroup this past Wednesday, “What quality do you possess that causes people to look at you and be unable to see Christ?”. The answers varied from pride and anger to lust and disrespect. We made some commitments to each other and some covenants to God to make the proper adjustments needed in our lives so that when people look at us they can see Christ more clearly. Is that something you are willing to do?