Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Blessing of Identifying Christ

5“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter,b and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hadesc will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will bed bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bee loosed in heaven.” 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Thoughts: Peter got it right.  Jesus is botth the anointed one (Messiah/Christ) and the Son of the living God.  It was a name-changing identification.  Jesus is the Christ and Peter is the rock.  When the early Christians baptized someone, they gave them a new name.  To identify Jesus is not just an academic exercise.  It is a matter of the heart, soul, mind, and strength.  To be able to identify Jesus as the Christ is a gift from God.  It is revealed (as verse 17 says) by the Father.  This confession of the identity of Christ breaks down the gates of hell that would hold all the souls in the world.  It sets us free to live our lives with this identity in our hearts.  Peter was not just identifying Jesus, he was identifying himself with Jesus.  He was a Christian ("Christian" literally means little Christs).  When we identify Christ we identify ourselves in following ].   

Prayer: Lord, give me grace to identify you in my heart. 

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