Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The recognition, part 2: what do you say?

And He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." (Luke 9:20 NASB)

In this passage, Jesus was near Caesarea Philippi, where He had gone to pray. The twelve had accompanied Him and He had asked them what people said about Him. Then, He asked them a simple but profound question. "Who do you say that I am?"  Only Peter answered. He was frequently the spokesman for the group, and he answered rightly with clear insight into Jesus. The odd thing is that only Peter answered. What about Philip, who described Jesus to Nathanael as "the one of whom Moses and the prophets wrote"? (John 1:45) What about James and John, who, with Peter, were part of the inner circle? Why didn't they say anything? 

Peter did well when he confessed that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God, (Matt 16:16) but why did no one else make a confession that day? Perhaps they all silently concurred with Peter, quietly nodding their agreement, but it seems unexpected that only Peter made a verbal confession. 

We must decide for ourselves the answer to the question of "Who is Jesus?" but we also have to confess Him for ourselves. No one can speak for us, not our parents, our pastor, or our dearest friends. We must speak for ourselves, and confess our faith in Jesus for ourselves. Why? Why can't we just nod along in agreement? Our Lord was very clear on this matter. "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32 NASB) The confession of Jesus on our behalf in eternity begins with our confession of Him now, so it is important for us to know what we believe in order to speak it. 

What is it that you believe about Jesus? How quick are you to speak that faith? If we believe that Jesus is the Lamb of God sent to take away the sin of the world, why do we not tell all who will listen?  A perishing world is desperate for faith and hope, and we know the One they need. Friends, let's share Jesus with them. 

Speak up. 
Speak out. 
Say what you believe. 
No one can do it but you.