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Summary: Jesus alone is Messiah! It’s only when you recognize Him as such, and accept Him as the savior from your sins, that your life will be blessed!

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TEXT: Matthew 16:13-17

TITLE: “Who Do YOU say that I am?”

SERIES: Questions that God asks (part 4)

TOPIC: Christ’s deity!

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, August 24, 2008

PROP.: Jesus alone is Messiah! It’s only when you recognize Him as such, and accept Him as the savior from your sins, that your life will be blessed!

INTRODUCTION: Good morning! Today our Jr. Church kids are dismissed. Please pass the attendance pads down the pew that you are in today as well!

I’m so glad you’re here today! I am excited about today’s message. This sermon concludes our series “Questions that God Asks.”

We started this series with the most important question that God asks of His children: WHERE ARE YOU? Where are you in regards to your relationship to Him? Are you near Him? Or are you distant?

And today we conclude this series with a question that will determine where you WILL be. The answer to today’s question will determine where you will spend eternity! Where you will end up when your life on this earth is done.

And as long as this life may seem to be, it is brief! The oldest person to live in modern history is this woman (show picture)

Jeanne Calment. She lived in France. She died in 1997. Her age was 122 years

and 164 days old. She was born in 1875. At the age of 14, she met Vincent van

Gogh - the famous Post-impressionist artist who committed suicide in 1890.

122 years is the longest ANYONE in modern history has ever lived! More than likely, you will not live to be 122 years old. The average lifespan for those living in America is somewhere between 77 - 80 years old. That means that I’m getting close to being half dead!

James puts it this way: “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

Now that I’ve got you depressed about how short your life is…I want you to think about how long eternity is! Your life, when matched up against “forever and ever and ever and ever…” is just a speck on the timeline of eternity!

So now do you see what’s at stake? How you answer today’s question that God asks, will determine where you will live FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER. It’s important that we get the answer to this question correct!

Our text takes us to Matthew 16:13-17

BACKGROUND:

The crowds are amazed at the teachings of Jesus. They are impressed by His miracles.

From the healings, to the feedings, people flock to Jesus. That doesn’t mean that he is free from enemies. The religious elite, particularly, the Pharisees, constantly argued with him and demeaned him.

In fact, Jesus has just had another run in with them. They came to Jesus demanding a sign that He was in fact the Messiah. Jesus has been healing people and He has just finished feeding four thousand people with a few lozves of bread and fish. Jesus basically tells them that if they can’t read the signs that are right in front of them, then He isn’t going to give them a special one excpet for the sign of Jonah, an apparent reference to his death, burial and resurrection just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days.

So Jesus takes the 12 and they go on a trip to Caesarea Philippi which is about 30 miles away. The lesson Jesus wants his students to learn is to not fall for the teachings of the Pharisees. They knew the scriptures and yet didn’t understand them. They allowed tradition and opinion to get in the way and color their interpretation and in the process they missed out on what the scriptures really said. It didn’t matter what they thought about Jesus, because they were working from a faulty premise.

T.S.: Let’s see WHO JESUS IS this morning.

Let’s read our text this morning:

Matthew 16:13-17a

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

The first question Jesus asks is:

I. Who does the world say Jesus is?

Jesus first asks the question: Who do people say that I am? In other words, Jesus wanted the disciples to understand what the culture was saying about who He is.

I think that’s a good place for us to start! Because if you understand what the culture is saying about Jesus, you can better answer their questions as to who He REALLY is!

A. The setting for the question

Jesus is in Caesarea Phillipi when he poses this question. The perfect setting for this question to be addressed.

--Historical importance of Caesarea Phillipi

Caesarea Phillip was a city filled with the worship of pagan gods. In fact, the name of this city used to be called: Panias in honor of the nature god Pan who was worshipped there, but was changed to Caesarea in honor of the then reigning Caesar Tiberius.

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