Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 3 questions that Jesus asked

“Three Questions”

January 12, 2014

Matthew 16:13-20

“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 says 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. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Isn’t this an awesome Scripture? I can imagine being in Jesus’ little band of believers, walking the dusty road to Caesarea Philippi, stopping for a little rest break, and Jesus, always taking an opportunity to disciple, turned to them and asks this question: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

Do you see how Jesus purposely causes us to think and purposely initiates dialog? Jesus was often asking questions of people like:

“Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)

“What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41)

“Have you understood these things?” (Matt 13:51)

“How many loaves do you have?” (Matt 15:34)

“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” (Matt 22:42)

Why do you think Jesus did that? Don’t you believe that He already KNEW the answers to those questions? Do you think it could be to wake us from our dullness and stupor and think – really THINK? We so often get into a rut (which is another name for a grave with the ends kicked out) and don’t think about the really important things in life. General Dwight D. Eisenhower said,

“The important is seldom urgent and the urgent is seldom important.”

We spend so much time thinking and doing things that aren’t really all that important in the grand scheme of things. We need to plan times to think and meditate of the things of God. We need to get into the Word of God and really think about what we read. We need to listen to the still small voice of God. If we do that – He will speak to us. He will communicate with us.

This morning I want to ask you to think about three questions Jesus asked – as recorded in the Bible. I think these are three questions that He asks us as well. Imagine with me that Jesus is looking into your eyes. He has your complete undivided attention and you have His. And He asks you these questions.

The first is this one. “Who do YOU say I am?”

When Jesus asked this of the disciples Peter responded,

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

Jesus told him that he did not say this on his own. Flesh and blood did not give him this information. God had revealed this truth to Him. Peter came to this conclusion, not intellectually by studying the Scriptures or going to the Temple or going to the local seminary. God, the Holy Spirit had revealed this awesome truth to him.

I think God will reveal truth to us as well. As we seek; as we ask; as we knock upon heaven door – we will hear the voice of God. As we learn to gaze upon the face of God He will reveal His will to us. In the Truth Project we are learning that as we look at creation; as we look at the heavens and the things God has created – He speaks to us. He reveals Himself to us. Whether it is in microbiology as we study the cell and DNA and the flagellum motor and the irreducibly complex machines that construct our cells or as we gaze up to the heavens – God speaks. God reveals Himself and His nature. (Romans 1:20)

“Who do you say I am?” Some said John the Baptist; others said Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” They were wrong. They could have said that Jesus was the Messiah; He was God incarnate; God in the human form. They could have said He was the Creator. But those ideas were too big for them. Those truths have to be revealed by God Himself. And for God to reveal Himself we have to seek.

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