His Joy In Giving
13 “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to 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 NKJV
One of the places we go when we travel to Israel is Caesarea Philippi where this dramatic exchange took place between Jesus and His disciples and then Jesus and Peter. Just before this, the disciples had been a part of one of Jesus’ miracles again. They had to be giddy and excited at being with Jesus and being a part of the supernatural things Jesus was doing. It is then that Jesus asks His disciples who men say that He is. They give all the answers that they have heard offered in answer to that question. They give all the wrong answers of the world. Essentially what the disciples say is that men say that Jesus is just a man, not the Son of God. The world is denying the divinity of Jesus.
Then things get very serious for the disciples as Jesus asks them the same question, “But who do you say that I am?” That is a harder question for them and it is still a relevant question that Jesus is asking us today. It is easy to see what the world says about Jesus, but what do I say? Oh sure we know that Jesus is God in the flesh and our Savior, but do we say that when we speak in response to the things that life throws at us? When our body is sick do we say that Jesus is the victorious Savior who provided healing for us, or do we say instead, “I am sick”? When our finances seem to be telling us that we don’t have enough to tithe do we say, “I am not certain He can be trusted so I will hold onto my finances? “? Or do we say, “Jesus is the Word and the Word always works so I am going to give in faith knowing that Jesus will provide joyously”?
In this life, circumstances will tell you things that are contrary to the promises of Jesus. At that time we have to answer the same question that Jesus asked the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Will I believe the world and the circumstances or will I believe Jesus who is our Savior and deliverer who has overcome all things for us and provided us with His victories?
Regardless of what you are facing today Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” and if I believe that I will stand on His Word steadfastly until I see the circumstances of this life line up with His Word. What are you dealing with today? Who do you say that Jesus is?
J Todd Hostetler