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Summary: Who is this man called Jesus? It’s an eternal life question all of us have to deal with. Do you know the answer?

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Name It and Claim It

Matthew 16: 13-20 March 17, 2002

As we inch closer & closer to Easter, I want us to stop & take a breath today… (Take a breath! Relax, & slowly take a deep breath & slowly breath out…) They say that when you learn to breath properly, taking slow, deep breaths, it allows more oxygen to your brain & you think better… you can see things more clearly…

This morning, as we look at our scripture from Matthew 16, I want you to be able to see things more clearly… I usually don’t give tests at the end of the message, but this morning there will be a pop test & those that don’t pass the test will have some additional homework to do…

Four weeks ago, as we began the season of lent, I told you that we would be sharing scripture & stories that would show us the life of Christ… My hope was to take us on a journey that would make Easter 2002, a very special celebration… But do you know what I’ve learned? I’ve learned that Easter 2002 is already a special celebration & it has nothing to do with what I’ve done – it’s special because Jesus is special & because of what He has done… It’s special whether we see it or not!

Years ago, there was a game show called “Name That Name.” They would give you clues to the person & it was up to you to name that person’s name… For the past several weeks, we’ve seen clues from our scripture that reveal to us a name above all names… And most of you could name that name – But do you claim the name…

In our Confirmation Class, I’m using a resource called “Claim the Name…” It consist of several study books that explain & describe the Methodist heritage, our theology, our doctrines, and what it means to be a Christian… It gives you all the information you need to make a decision of faith, but it leaves the final decision up to the individual… The books teach us what the name “Christian” means, but it’s up to us to claim it… It not enough just to know it – we have to claim it!

For the past several weeks, as we’ve looked at the life of Christ, we’ve seen some pretty amazing things… some truly unbelievable stories…

We journeyed with Christ & His 3 disciples, Peter, James, & John to the top of the mountain to where they were met by the prophets of old, Moses & Elijah… And before their eyes, Jesus was transfigured by God… His face lit up like the sun & His clothes turned a dazzling white… and God Himself spoke from the clouds saying, “THIS IS MY SON, THE BELOVED…”

And imagine, God allowed Jesus’ disciples to witness this spectacular, holy event… Who is this man that has such favor with God? Can you name the name? It’s Jesus!

And then we saw Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days being tempted by Satan… And, no matter what Satan through at Him, He would dismiss it with the power of God’s Word… And finally, after Jesus had had enough, by the power of God He rebuked Satan and we saw the angels from heaven come and wait upon Jesus…

Who is this man that rebukes Satan & God is so pleased with Him that He would send His angels to wait on Him? Can you name the name? It’s Jesus Christ!


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