Summary: A Sermon for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 19 Peter telling Jesus he is the Christ
14th Sunday after Pentecost
"Faith’s Famous Four Words"
27 ¶ And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"
28 And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets."
29 And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ."
30 And he charged them to tell no one about him.
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men."
34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
37 For what can a man give in return for his life?
38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Grace and Peace to you from ouor Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Many years ago, Wanda and I visited Niagara Falls. It was a tremendous sight. The roar of the water, the mist spraying up from the river, the power of the water rushing down that river all of this was a wonder to behold. As you looked above the Falls there was a cable stretched across the river. On that cable was a warning that all boats needed to stay on the other side or the power of the rushing river would send the boat and its occupants over the falls to sudden death.
There is a story about a sailor and a miner who lost control of the rowboat they were rowing above the falls. The swift water started pulling them to the edge of the falls. Someone from the shore flung a rope to the two as they were tossed from their boat into the pounding current. At that same time, a floating log shot by. The sailor grabbed the rope and hung on, but the miner seized the log and wrapped himself around it ignoring the rope. You know the outcome, one man was saved, the other lost. One man was pulled to safety because he choice the right course, the way to safety, the other perished because he choose wrong.
Our gospel lesson this morning talks about the life line of life, Jesus Christ. Our lesson speaks about the one, Jesus, who throws us the safety line of salvation when we are going down the river of life. Our lesson tells Is us about one man’s confession, one man’s declaration about the savior of his life.
Jesus is in the middle of his public ministry. He is in northern Galilee, and he is now heading down to Jerusalem where he knows that the cross, suffering and death await him. As he begins this most difficult part of his ministry, he has to know if he has done any good ? He has to know if anyone has figured out who he is, why he has come. He doesn’t ask the crowds, but he asks the men who have been with him night and day for a year and a half. He asks the ones who are suppose to know him best. He begins by asking them what others are saying about him. They tell| him, some say you are Elijah, other a prophet. Then Jesus brings the question from out there to home, he asks them, "But who do you say that I am" Notice the disciples don’t all answer at once. They don’t all jump in with the answer, but one of them, Peter has figured it all out Peter thinks he knows, so brave, bold Peter says, "You are the Christ." You are the Christ, faith’s most famous words. Peter understood who Jesus was, he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God, the one who would bring God’s good news into the world.