Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "Jesus’ Church".
Series: Jesus¡¦ Church [#1]
THE JESUS POLL
I am so glad that the elections are over. I must have received over a 100 phone calls, emails, and letters concerning my vote. Before the election, there were all sorts of polls taken to try to determine who was going to win.
Although Jesus Christ did not come to please people but to seek and save that which was lost; we find Jesus in Matthew 16:13 taking a poll amongst His disciples.
As we look at our text, I want you to understand that Jesus only talked about the Church 2 times. This passage is extremely important because Jesus tells us what His Church is capable of doing, what it should do, and what it will do.
At this point in Jesus¡¦ ministry, His fame had spread in many places. The news of His preaching and miracles had spread all around. The religious leaders had also heard about Jesus Christ and they didn’t like what they had heard. He was a threat to their power and prestige amongst the Jews. The Pharisees had accused Jesus of getting His power from Satan. He had been rejected by His home town. So in the midst of growing opposition and surrounded by crowds of people who liked Him but did not understand Him, He took his disciples and left Israel. He went north out of Israel into Gentile territory, to a place called Caesarea Philippi.
Jesus knew that it would not be long before He would be crucified. He knew that He would be leaving this earth and knew that the Father¡¦s plan was to use believer¡¦s in Jesus Christ. This was the time that Jesus was going to find out where the disciples stood. Jesus asked His disciples 2 questions.
The first question is in verse 13. ¡§When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
Jesus wanted His disciples to acknowledge what other people were saying. So they gave him the four most popular answers about who Jesus is. "Some say John the Baptist (that was Herod’s answer); others say Elijah (that was very popular because the Jews expected Elijah to return); and still others, Jeremiah (he was the greatest of the later prophets) or one of the prophets (that is, he was a spokesman for God)."
There are two points to note: 1) The common people loved Jesus even though they did not fully understand Him. 2) It is possible even with a very sincere heart to misunderstand who Jesus is.
This is quite typical of America today. There are many people who like the Lord Jesus but do not worship Him. They think He’s a good man, good teacher, prophet, etc¡K; but they do not believe He is the Son of God. People who believe those things about Jesus are close, but as they say, ¡§Close only counts in hand-grenades and horse-shoes¡¨. Spiritually speaking, close will send you to Hell just as fast as not believing anything about Jesus.
Jesus then asked His disciples a more important question. "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15). Peter¡¦s answer is very specific. ¡§Simon Peter answered, ¡¥You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.¡¦" (Matthew 16:16).