“I don’t want to believe what other people say I am;
I want to believe who Jesus says I am.”
This quote sums up perfectly Pastor Ben’s last message of the “Secrets” sermon series. By referencing Matthew 16, Pastor Ben helps us to understand the connection between knowing Jesus and knowing ourselves.
“Who do people say that the son of man is?”
Regardless of the answers that the twelve disciples gave to this question, there are many things that Jesus simply is not.
--Jesus is not John the Baptist, the one calling people to repentance…he is more than that.
--Jesus is not Elijah, the miracle worker…he is more than that.
--Jesus is not Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet” who laments over the sad state of affairs in the world…he is more than that.
Jesus is so much more than any of these things, and it takes a similar yet entirely different question for the disciples to eventually offer up the right answer:
“But who do you say that I am?”
It is this question that finally leads the disciples in the right direction: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Simon Peter replies.
Simon Peter finally gets it; not by his own power or his own knowledge, but by God himself, as Jesus explains. And it is because of this realization that Jesus is able to rename Simon Peter and establish upon him the ultimate representation of His grace and love—the church.
Only when we understand who Jesus truly is can we receive from him our true names and our true identities; Jesus alone knows us as we are meant to be, and he alone is capable of bringing that person out in us. Had Simon Peter never realized the truth about Jesus, he would never have been renamed, nor would he have ever been able to become the rock on which the Christian church was built. Peter realized who Jesus was, and, in turn, he also realized the truth about himself.
Pastor Ben implores all of us at New Heart to relentlessly pursue the truth about Jesus Christ, not only so we can understand exactly who he has made us to be, but also so we can fulfill the call that he has put on our lives.