January 16, 2018

Matthew 16:15 (NLT) — 15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

This is probably the most important question one could ever answer? Who is Jesus to you personally? Where you will spend eternity depends on how you answer that question.

Matthew 16:16–18 (NLT) — 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.

Jesus Christ is the rock on which the church is built. The church is people and it is the confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God which begins the church. From that confession on we live out the words of scripture. Building our lives on those words. Jesus is the living word.

Matthew 7:24–28 (NLT) — 24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,

Jesus uses two Greek words for “stone” in this passage. Petros, or “Peter,” means small stone. Petra means massive stone. In other words, Jesus is saying, “Blessed are you, little stone. Upon the massive stone of your confession that I am the Messiah, I will build My church.”

This was not an emotional response by Peter. Father God revealed to Peter that Jesus was his Messiah and Peter pondered this and then gave his response. Peter had declared before that Jesus was Lord and that he was the Lord or the Son of God but it was always an emotional response after he had witnessed a miracle.

Luke 5:8 (NLT) — 8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.”

That response was after a miracle catch that Jesus had provided but Jesus didn’t say he would build his church on that response.

John 6:68 (NLT) — 68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.

This response came later in the chapter after the feeding of the 5,000. But Jesus didn’t say he would build his church on that response. There were a lot of people that followed Jesus believing he was the Son of God after they had seen a miracle and their emotions were riding high but when they realized the cost of following Jesus many fell away.

So to today many may come to church because they received a healing or they had prayed to God for a pay raise and they got it, or because they now had children they figured it was time to go back to church. But after awhile the emotion wears off and they revert back to the old ways of life.

A few years back I was preaching a series on ‘Hell’ and a man with a young family just happened to be there and was convicted of where he would spend eternity. He told me that he would start bringing his family to church. Well that lasted a couple of months and then he reverted back to his old ways. Jesus doesn’t build his church on emotional responses.

Jesus builds his church on the confession of the men and women who say, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the true Son of God and today I give my life totally to him.”

Romans 10:9–10 (NLT) — 9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

John 4:39–42 (NLT) — 39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

So the question still remains:

Matthew 16:15 (NLT) — 15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Be Inspired Hilltop!




  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    The chapter of Acts for today has another important lesson. Paul and Silias are going on this missionary journey to pass on the decision of the council in Jerusalem. In this journey they meet Timothy and decide he needs to be circumcised before joining them. They are bowing to the will of the people instead of God. After that they find themselves blocked in Asia. There may be a connection to their giving into Jewish tradition.