Summary: Jesus knew His identity, and gained strength to take the cross through prayer. Through this He was glorified. We will only see the glory of God if we will also take up the cross and embrace God's will for our lives, finding our identity in Him.
918 And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
19 So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.”
20 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”
21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” 23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”
28 Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. 30 And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. 33 Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.
34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 36 When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen.
PRAYER AND PERSONALITY
PRAYER AND PURPOSE
PRAYER AND POWER
Do you know your personality? Do you really know who you are-your identity?
After praying He asks the disciples who people said He was, yet it is clear He already knew the answer.
Jesus knew who He was. In context, in Luke Chapter 7, even John the Baptist was doubting Jesus’ identity and sent messengers to ask Jesus if He was, indeed the Messiah. Jesus didn’t answer them, he mad e no attempt to defend Himself or argue His identity. He simply kept doing His work and let them see, then told them to tell John what they saw and heard. He knew who He was. How did He have such certainty of identity and purpose?
How do we know who we are?
Identity: The highly decorated general & two merchant marines
There is a progress here: first the outer circle-those who gossip and tell stories,
The inner circle-those who were with Jesus, knew His ways and His habits, His coming in and His going out. They gave the right answer.
The Chinese saying: A man is who others think he is, who he thinks he is and who he really is. The progress here is similar-outer, inner, and then reality.
If we want to know reality we can never know it entirely on our own. We can only learn true reality by communicating with He who is Reality. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. . . C.S. Lewis translates this, “I am the Way, the Reality, and the Life”. The word alanthano, the Greek word from John 14:6, comes from two words meaning “not-hidden”. Truth, then, is revealed.
Human perception is not necessarily the best measure of truth because we have such limited senses and experience upon which to build our understanding of the universe and our role within it (not just because our senses can be deceived, surely the input we gain from our senses is, generally, reliable and, in that sense, “true”, though our evaluation of that input may be skewed in some cases, as with a spoon appearing to be crooked inside a glass of water, or a rainbow appearing to have some substance when it is merely a refraction of light, our perception from our senses is, generally, reliable, as these exceptions actually serve to demonstrate by their rarity). Our understanding of who we are is no exception to this rule. We have very limited resources by which to judge who we are and our fundamental value. We judge ourselves as valuable if we get a good grade on an exam, or not so valuable if we get a lower grade. We think ourselves successful if we get the impressive job title, and unsuccessful if we do not. Our valuation of our own worth is high if we do well in our school and job, if others think well of us, if we have such-and-such possessions, and if we live, basically, according to our own ideals of morals and ethics-our self-concept of our worth is different if we fail in any of these areas at any point in our lives.