PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• There was a moment in His ministry when Jesus asked His disciples, ”Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13b ESV). They gave Him various answers and then, Jesus asked another question. “But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15b ESV). Peter was the one who spoke up and answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16b ESV).
The Bible only records Peter’s answer and I can’t help but wonder what the other disciples were thinking. They clearly knew that there was something extraordinary about Jesus. They’d already watched Him perform miracles. They were with Him when He fed 5000 with only five loaves and two fish (Matthew 14:13-21). They watched Him walk on water (Matthew 14:22-33), and at that moment, they had declared Jesus to be the Son of God (Matthew 14:33).
Yet two chapters later, even though the disciples had already declared Him to be the Son of God, Jesus still asked them who they thought He was.
It wasn’t a moment of identity crisis. Jesus wanted to know what they thought both in the middle of the storm as well as in a simple conversation. (Because isn’t it just like human nature to be prayer warriors in the storms and be too busy to pray when things are chugging along like normal?)
When Peter answered the question, Jesus told Him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17 ESV).
The thing is, we are being asked the same question. Maybe not audibly, but Jesus gives each of us the opportunity to answer the question, “Who do you say that I am?”
The Bible doesn’t give us adjectives to describe Peter’s tone, but we can infer it from Jesus’ response. After all, Jesus saw through the lip service to the heart of people. If there was doubt or hesitation on Peter’s part, Jesus would have known and I seriously doubt He would have gone on to promise to build His church on Peter or promise him the keys to heaven (Matthew 16:18-19).
So assuming that Peter stated Jesus as the Son of God with complete confidence and rock-solid faith, I want to be like Peter. I want to state it boldly, without hesitation or doubt. And when confronted by someone who thinks my beliefs are stupid, I want to be prepared to defend my faith through kindness but absolute conviction. Because it is as true today as it was 2000 years ago. Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being our promised Messiah. Ask the Holy Spirit to equip you with the rock-solid faith that will declare Jesus the Son of God in any and all circumstances.