Summary: Message describing Jesus as the Messiah.

What is “the Christ?”

Matthew 16:13-20

February 4, 2007

We’re constantly bombarded with all sorts of ideas of who Jesus is.

Some of them are on the mark, others aren’t.

Listen to this quote:

“I dig Jesus and so do many other witches. Its not his fault that Christianity is so confused today and as a person he was a very special guy, wise and generous, selfless and loving. I think he’d be horrified to see what his teachings have come to today. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if he was around today with his values of tolerance, acceptance, respect for nature and fellow people, he’d be a witch.” Fiona Horne, singer and practicing “white witch” from Australia ( Contributed by: Andrew Hamilton

There are plenty of people who “dig” Jesus. They just don’t want to listen to what He says and follow Him the way He said to.

And by the way, I thought people quit “digging” things back in the 70’s…

One of the ways to find out what people really think about Jesus is to see how He’s portrayed on TV.

More often then not, especially on some of more current cartoon shows on prime time, Jesus is shown as someone who’s not anything like he’s portrayed by Christians around the world and by the Bible.

He’s shown as someone who’s fed up with being used by religious “nuts” and “fanatics” as a tool to promote a religious agenda.

Of course, those fanatics and nuts are only those who actually believe that the Bible is true and that Jesus actually is who He says He is…

But we see this stuff, we come across it on the internet, on TV talk shows, and even on “Christian” TV, and we ask ourselves, “who’s right?”

How do we sort out the good information from the bad? How do we know when we’re hearing truth or being sold a bill of goods when it comes to Jesus?

And what happens if we get it wrong?

Those are questions that people have to wrestle with, and the outcome of that wrestling is all-important because if we have wrong ideas about Jesus, it can have devastating results.

You’re going to hear me say something to that effect a few times during the message. And it’s because it’s absolutely foundational to everything we believe about the Bible and Jesus.

And so I hope that our time today will give you some ammunition when it comes to confronting error about Jesus – the Messiah – or the Christ, as He’s called in Scripture.

And I also hope that if anyone here is unclear about Jesus and His mission, that some or all of that will be cleared up today through the words of Jesus Himself.

We’re on our second week at looking at a passage of Scripture in Matthew that has just a ton of stuff in it.

We’re going to unpack it a little bit more today, and do some more next week. It’s a great passage and there is so much for us to learn from it that we can’t get it all in in just one week.

Matthew 16:13-20 (p. 694) –

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

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

16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Jesus is asking a very pertinent and important question here: Guys, who do you think I am?

Peter gives his answer – “You’re the Messiah – the Christ – the Son of the Living God.

And Jesus says, “Bingo, Pete. You got it. And it’s that testimony that you need to take to the world.”

Next week we’re going to look at what Jesus says are the implications of knowing who Jesus is as it pertains to the growth of the kingdom around the world and the enemy’s response to it.

But today I want to focus on just what it means that Jesus is “the Christ.

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