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.
Why did Jesus instruct His disciples not to tell anyone He was the Messiah? His message was meant for everyone. Aren’t His followers charged to share the Good News with the world?
Jesus knows that His time is near, and He wants them to pay attention to His coming sacrifice and witness to the truth of what He was doing for us. There will be plenty of time for them to share after that. Right now they need to focus and be aware of the impact Christ’s crucifixion will have on the world and eternity.
We must also pause to remember that without His sacrifice for us, we can’t be saved. Only through His redemptive gift can we be cleansed and prepared to be in service to His kingdom. Remember what Jesus has done for each one of us and give thanks for His faithfulness that enables us to be faithful.
Loving Lord, You gave Your life for our salvation. Help us to appreciate what You have done for us and to testify to the truth that You are the Messiah. Amen.