What's Really Important

Jesus and His disciples had just arrived to the region of Caesarea Philippi and were discussing all the amazing miracles they had been witnessing. Blind eyes opened, paralytics walking, deaf ears opened—you name it, it was happening! 

It was clear, however, that Jesus had something else on His mind so Simon Peter told everyone to be quiet. As the men’s voices faded, he asked, “What is it, Teacher?” Jesus slowly looked up and said to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 

Each of the disciples began to answer at once, “John the Baptist!” 

“Elijah!” 

“Jeremiah!” 

“A great prophet!” 

The answers kept coming, but they could tell Jesus wasn’t satisfied with those answers. The room fell silent and Jesus asked them one of the most important questions He would ask in His three year ministry: “Who do you say that I am?”

Jesus wasn’t concerned with what other people were saying about Him, He wanted to know what His followers thought. Had they learned anything? Were they allowing the thoughts of other people to influence their beliefs? 

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Simon Peter answered.

A smile formed on Jesus’ face. “You are blessed, Simon Peter, because you have received this from my Father, not the world. I want to build my church on this understanding.”

(Account from Matthew 16:13-19).

Have you ever wondered why there are so many Christian denominations that believe so differently? Some believe God’s love is unconditional, while others say we need to confess our sins and ask Him for forgiveness to maintain a good standing with Him. Some say it’s always God’s will to heal while others say He uses sickness to teach us something.

With all of these different opinions, it is important to ask yourself why you believe what you believe. Did you come to this conclusion because it is what your pastor teaches? Is it what your family or friends have believed? When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am,” He was teaching them the importance of having their own understanding of who He was. 

Even though my understanding is about as perfect as you’ll ever hear (I hope you picked up on the sarcasm), my revelation is not what will change your life. The only thing that will bring you freedom is knowing for yourself who God really is.

It’s the ministers’ to help point you in the right direction.

Rather than just blindly believing what you’ve heard before, it is important that you base your belief system on the right things. Healing is an incredibly important truth to understand, but, if you don’t know who Jesus is, you could be talked out of that truth if you aren’t experiencing it at the moment. 

Begin by breaking the gospel down to its simplest level: Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. That’s really the only thing that matters. You can work the rest out as time goes on. As the Apostle Paul stated in Philippians 2, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. There will be times of growing pains and fear, questioning and growing, but you can always turn back to that one essential truth. I encourage you to ask yourself today, who is Jesus? Your answer to that question will change your life.

Clint ZellerComment