dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish

7.31.2009

"Who Do You Say That I Am?"

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered 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 16:13-17, ESV)
This passage got my thoughts rolling. However, this is written more as a series of thoughts than a well-written post, so hopefully it doesn't seem totally disjointed.

The Christian faith
is both objective and personal; objective Truth demands a personal response.

The identity of Jesus is not a mental or philosophical exercise where all answers are equal. And yet Jesus asked the disciples for a personal response: "Who do you say that I am?" That's much more specific than the first question: "Who do people say that [I] am?"

Jesus asked Peter what he believed. Jesus knew His own identity. He did not need Peter (or anyone else) to speak affirming words.

Just as it mattered that Peter himself believed (more than being able to say what others believed), what Peter believed mattered. Jesus did not say to Peter, "That's great. It is good that you have thought things through, and have settled on an answer that satisfies you." Jesus asked Peter about his personal belief; He did not, however, affirm all beliefs as equally valid.

But the lesson does not stop there. Jesus did not say to Peter, That's great. It is good that you have thought things through, and have settled on the answer that is right." Jesus does not flatter our ability to reason to come to Him.

We have a faith that is built on divine revelation: "For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." We can indeed reason based on this revelation, but we cannot reason to attain revelation.

Jesus says, "Who do you say that I am?" and we have to answer personally. And when we believe and confess that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God, we can praise our Father in heaven.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Towropes said...

Your juxtaposition of the objective and personal remind me of what John Stott says on the Last Supper (from Cross of Christ):

"Thus they were not just spectators of this drama of the cross; they were participants in it. They can hardly have failed to get the message. Just as it was not enough for the bread to be broken and the wine to be poured out, but they had to eat and drink, so it was not enough for him to die, but they had to appropriate the benefits of his death personally. The eating and drinking were, and still are, a vivid acted parable of receiving Christ as our crucified Saviour and of feeding on him in our hearts by faith."

8/01/2009 1:02 PM

 
Blogger Robert J. Moeller said...

Hey, I randomly found your blog while checking out fellow Total Truth fans who use blogger. I like your site. I am a seminary student in Chicago, and an aspiring writer with a blog of my own (rjmoeller.com). Check it out some time. Take care.

8/23/2009 6:24 PM

 
OpenID empyresubverter said...

Interesting blog... But you don't update often enough (I know, I know your really busy ;)

Read mine sometime: empyresubverter@livejournal.com

8/30/2009 10:10 PM

 
Blogger Jason said...

empyresubverter,

Did we talk this past Sunday?

9/01/2009 12:46 AM

 
OpenID empyresubverter said...

This past Sunday?

I think so...

9/01/2009 6:51 PM

 
Anonymous Justin Work said...

Well written and precise. You are a grifted teacher and are good at communicating your thoughts.

11/17/2009 9:22 PM

 

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