Summary: PENTECOST 5(C) - Believers confess Jesus is the Christ with words by faith and with lives of faith.


LUKE 9:18-24 JULY 13, 2003

LUKE 9:18-24

18Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"

19They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."

20"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Peter answered, "The Christ of God."

21Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

True confessions – when we hear those words we might think of a number of different things. A long time ago, there used to be an interesting magazine called True Confessions. We might think of baring our soul of some of the deep, dark sins that we have committed. True confessions also refer to those things we believe in our heart. True confessions are great confessions. We heard a true, great confession in today’s text from Peter, when he declared that Jesus was the Christ of God. You and I make true confessions day after day in our earthly life, either with our words or by our actions. We are able to do so, not because we’ve gone out of our way to find Christ, but that the Lord God has sought us and found us. You and I are able to make true confessions day after day because of the Word of God, which God, by His grace, has placed in our hearts and in our lives. Thus Paul writes to the Romans: "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ"(ROMANS 10:17). That is why we’re here today – to hear that word of God so that our faith may grow, so that we too, like Peter, would confess that Jesus is the Christ. When we hear Peter say that, we’re filled with awe and wonder at God’s abundant free grace and we are encouraged. Today the Lord encourages us by reminding us that we too, are just like Peter as:


I. With words by faith

II. With lives of faith

I. With words by faith

As our text begins, we find Jesus setting an example for His disciples in a number of ways. 18Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him… He teaches them a couple of things – first of all, that prayer is important. Here was Jesus, the very Son of God, part of the triune God. He knew His Father’s will perfectly yet He still takes time to pray to His heavenly Father. Jesus does that so He is strengthened and to teach His disciples an example of the importance of prayer. Then we see too, that they’re off by themselves in private – just Jesus and His disciples. At this time in Jesus’ ministry we are told the crowds were so great that sometimes they could not even find a place to eat, the room was so crowded. Jesus showed His disciples it’s important to pray and it’s important to pray off by without distractions.

Then He asked them about public opinion. Jesus asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?" He wanted to hear what the people thought. Jesus knew the crowds were following Him because He had done miracles, because He had performed signs and wonders. He was wondering (although He knew) what the disciples had heard from the crowds. 19They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life." In essence, the people (public opinion) had put Jesus in a very high category. They grouped Him with Elijah, one of the greatest prophets that had ever lived. They said if maybe He wasn’t Elijah, maybe He was John the Baptist or maybe another great prophet come back to life. The trouble with this category of great is that these people were dead – Elijah, long gone and yet the people expected him to return. They thought maybe Jesus was Elijah come back to life. He wasn’t. That was only the public opinion of the day. They weren’t so anxious to admit that this Jesus is the Christ.

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