“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.’”
Matthew 16:13-17 (NIV)
“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” is a great comment. The influence of first impressions can make or break a relationship. When going for the first interview for a new job the proper appearance is vital. When I worked as a stockbroker for two years, I came back from a 2-week vacation to a difficult problem. While I was gone a new dress code was enacted. We could no longer wear sports coats we had to come to work in a dark coloured suit! I had come back to work from my holiday wearing a sportscoat!! I hastily returned home and put on a dark coloured suit complete with a matching vest, fob and pocket watch. Clearly, I did not want to make the wrong impression my first day back at the office.
At the time of the story in Matthew 16 Jesus and the disciples had been itinerant preachers for possibly two plus years. They had toured the entire country. Now the countdown is coming to the cross. Jesus wanted to know what the first impressions of Him were, so He asked the disciples to tell Him.
There were different ideas about Jesus’ identity and the disciples told the Master what the people were saying. Then Jesus narrowed the focus and asked the disciples who they thought He was. Jesus is always much more interested in His followers view of Him than what the world thinks of Him.
What is your view of who Jesus is today? Have you spent time lately telling Him of your love for Him? Have you recently thanked Him for going all the way to the cross to pay for your sins? Have you thanked Him for sending the Holy Spirit to comfort, strengthen, encourage, and teach you about the Messiah? Have you shared with Him your great hope of seeing Him some day? Who is Jesus to you??
The author of the hymn. “Amazing Grace” was an Anglican priest by the name of John Newton. On one occasion he wrote a beautiful poem on our subject for today. You can GOOGLE the whole poem but here are the first and last verses.
What think you of Christ? is the test
To try both your state and your scheme;
You cannot be right in the rest,
Unless you think rightly of him.
As Jesus appears in your view,
As he is beloved or not;
So God is disposed to you,
And mercy or wrath are your lot.
If asked what of Jesus I think?
Though still my best thoughts are but poor;
I say, he’s my meat and my drink,
My life, and my strength, and my store,
My Shepherd, my Husband, my Friend,
My Saviour from sin and from thrall;
My hope from beginning to end,
My Portion, my Lord, and my All.