Who do you say that I am? This is a vital question I believe we all have to ask ourselves when it comes to where we are with the Lord. I was reading in Matthew this morning before work and came across a passage that the Lord used to tug on my heart. It is when Jesus is talking with Peter and He asks him “Who do you say that I am?” This is such a powerful encounter between Jesus and Peter, His disciple, and I believe it is so important for us to ask this question on a regular basis; Who is Christ to us, in our lives?
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.”
Mark 8:27-29 ~ “Jesus and his disciples went on the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do the people say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, on of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.'”
Something I have always loved is the person that Peter was. Yes, he made mistakes and even denied the Lord, but he had a very intimate understanding and love for Jesus. And when Jesus asked all the disciples this question, the Holy Spirit was present and Peter was the one to speak and answer the Lord. I can’t stop thinking about that; how would I react if I was sitting before Christ and he asked myself and a group of others who we say that He is? Would my life, my heart, match up with my answer? This is what I want to communicate today through this blog.
Whenever I ask myself this question, I will first ask it, most times out loud, and then let it sit for a moment. I think on it, I pray about it, and try to answer it with both honesty and clarity. It allows me to evaluate my thoughts, my desires, my actions, and my life in order to truly see if my answer is genuine or if it is something that I like to say rather than live. This does not mean that we will ever be able to say that we are 100% in line with Scripture or have a perfect relationship with the Lord, because that indeed is not possible. Truth is we are sinful, selfish beings who, apart from Christ, have no way to have any sort of fellowship with God.
This is where the hard part comes in; Does the answer I gave align with the truth of what the Word says? In order to know if it does indeed line up with the Word, you have to look through it and observe what the bible says about this subject. So upon looking this over and praying about what scriptures to include here, the Lord revealed some verses that would really cause a heart check in myself and those reading this blog today. They deal with God searching the hearts of His people, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and so much more that are so extremely important in realizing the subject.
- Jeremiah 17:9-10 ~ “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind to reward each person according to their conduct according to what their deeds deserve.”
- Proverbs 12:2 ~ “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (I would highly suggest reading all of chapter 12).
- Romans 10:9-10 ~ “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
- Matthew 7:21-23 ~ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
- Mark 7:6 ~ “He replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'”
- Luke 18:9-14 ~ “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ ‘But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ ‘I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.'”
It is important to remember that the Lord looks at the conditions of our hearts, where our hearts are when we do things and how our relationship is with Him. So when we are examining our lives, we ought to think about these things in order to see if our answers are honest. Who do I say that He is? Think about that for a moment. Think about where you are in life. Do you have a strong relationship with the Lord that is not only real, but constantly growing? Are you humble before the Lord, rather than being self-righteous? Do you look at those around you and think higher of yourself just because of your actions? Are you honoring the Lord with just your words or does your heart align with the things you say? Do you do things for your own praise or do you do them for His? Are you in constant prayer and examination of your heart, yearning to surrender it all the Christ?
These are just some of the questions that I ask myself when I read this passage in Scripture. Who do I really say that Jesus is? Is He indeed the Lord of my life, or is He just something I use as “insurance” to get to heaven? Believe me, I know how difficult this topic is. I know and understand how hard it is to read this because most times the bare and unfiltered truth is not fun to hear. But truth is truth, and it needs to be not only spoken, but God-willing, heard.
Something else that I wanted to mention in today’s blog is the verse in Matthew with says “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” Discernment and understanding of the Word is completely influenced by the Holy Spirit. It has nothing to do with us, and even Jesus Himself had told that to Peter. That he was blessed because of the influence of the Spirit; the answer that Peter gave was inspired by the Lord. This also shows Peter’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as well. He was the one who heard the Spirit and spoke from that.
Who do you say that He is? I ask myself this question often and I believe that it is so important to do this kind of evaluation often in our walks as Believers. I know that this blog may not have been the most encouraging, but remember that His mercies are new every morning and when there is repentance, He casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. Take a look at your life, at your heart, at your thoughts, and ask yourself this question; Does your life and your heart reflect the question asked before?
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this blog today, it means so much to me! I pray that the truth spoken today in the blog did not come across as criticism or hypocrisy. This was also something I personally went over and ask myself as well. As my brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe the Lord calls me to speak the truth to you, rather than hearing these words and keeping silent in that. If there is anything that you need prayer for, please feel free to contact me via email or in the comments below. I would love to pray with you. Thanks again so much! God bless!