Our scripture this week is Matthew 16:13-20.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus 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. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
When Jesus asks His disciples who people say He is, it is for their understanding, that they might share their experiences with each other to better see how people are reacting to Him. Jesus didn’t care about His reputation or whether He angered some of the political and religious leaders, His only concern was for people to know God’s love for them and to deepen their connection with their Creator. Only by discovering our need for God and changing our lives can we become part of His kingdom work.
Jesus continues to challenge us to know who He is, who we are and what is required of us. He wants us to see both the blessings prepared for us and the tasks we face. He warns that it will not always be an easy path.
When we accept the relationship and the responsibility He offers, we become the disciples of today, representing Christ Himself to the world. Are you ready to lay down your own desires and do as He commands? Jesus calls each one of us to use our gifts to make the world as it was always intended.
Loving Lord, we hear the call You place on our lives. Help us to be strong in Your love and share the blessings of salvation with all the world. Amen.