Monday, May 5, 2014
Jesus asked His disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15, ESV).
"Simon Peter replied," as we read in verse 16, "'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" And notice very well the answer of Jesus in verse 17:
"Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."
How did Peter know who Jesus really is?
He was able to confess that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the Living God," because of the revelation of God the Father! He did not just learn it from the testimony of men. Nor he declared it, because he just opted to please Jesus.
Peter was the recipient of God's grace of revelation. God has made known His Son to him. That's why he was blessed. Not everyone experienced that kind of revelation. It was not just to have head knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, who came to save sinners in the world.
It's knowing and believing that Jesus, the Son of God, came to suffer and die personally for you, a sinner, to grant you the joy of salvation! And, thus, love for Him would be kindled in your heart for what He did for you, like what Peter declared later in John 21:15, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you" (also in verses 16 and 17).
Even the demons know and believe who Jesus is. We read in Luke 4:33-34, "And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 'Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are -- the Holy One of God'" (also Mark 1:24 and James 2:19).
But God did not reveal to them that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who granted them salvation. So, they do not love Jesus. They tremble of fear! They know that the Holy God will pour out His wrath on the unrepentant.
Blessed, indeed, are those whom the Father revealed His Son to them. For they are able to really know Him and believe in Him. They experience what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:8, "Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory."
What would also be your reply, if Jesus would ask you: "... who do you say that I am?"?