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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Matthew 16

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Peter’s Confession That Jesus Is the Christ

Saturday, September 29

by Mark Clements

Peter’s Confession That Jesus Is the Christ

Matthew 16:13-17

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 16:15-17.

When Jesus traveled to Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples about the current understanding concerning His identity. Jesus knew what people really thought about Him. His question was not asked in order to gain information. Instead, Jesus wanted to teach His disciples a lesson and give them the chance to admit their understanding of who He was in comparison to the popular opinion of the world. Some people thought Jesus was a resurrected John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or some other prophet, but Peter answered correctly when he confessed that Jesus was, indeed, the Anointed One of the living God. Jesus was pleased with Peter’s answer since it proved his heart had been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and, now, he would be able to represent God correctly as he continued to follow Jesus.

The world around us has many opinions concerning who Jesus is. Most people will say that He is a good person or a good teacher. That is a correct, albeit an incomplete assessment of Jesus Christ. He is more than a good teacher. Jesus is the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world. He claimed to be the only avenue to a relationship with God (John 14:1-6). The claim elevated Him above every other good teacher in history. The world may get the identity of Jesus wrong, but do not let that sway your testimony.

JUST A THOUGHT: Jesus is the Savior of the world.

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Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him

Matthew 16.24.JPG

Matthew 16:24-28

Jesus was not a shy retiring type of man who always spoke words designed to make everyone feel “included.” He sometimes told it just as it was, without mincing words. He rebuked evil and demanded obedience. No one was excluded from following, but those who chose to do so found the company to be exclusive.

In our devotional passage, Jesus had just rebuked loud-mouthed Peter for attempting to force his will onto God’s plan, rather than God’s plan on Peter’s life. He then expanded the thought in our passage above. He challenged Peter and the other’s to do some things to be a true follower of His; He challenges us to do these things today.

We are to deny ourselves. The biggest thing Jesus wants from us is….us. As we grow in faith we put what we think we want aside, and come to see what He wants. Ultimately we will come to desire the same for ourselves as He desires for us. We are to pick up our cross. We won’t literally have to climb on a cross and die, of course, but the concept is similar. Jesus sacrificed Himself for us; we are to sacrifice our own lives for Him. Finally, we are to follow Him. Friends, this is simply obedience. Sometimes our Lord will issue clear instructions; when that happens we need to follow them. As He did with Peter and the others, Jesus has issued the challenge to us. What will our answer be?

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