Summary: We spend a lot of time posing questions to God, but what about the questions that God would pose to us?

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Who Do You Say I Am?

Series: What God Wants To Know

Brad Bailey – October 19th, 2014


Series… not a matter of dismissing our questions…

but of facing the reality that maybe we are not the center of creation…maybe we are the ones who should listen to the questions which are asked from outside ourselves. .

The living God who has engaged humanity has questions that help define and direct the real story we are a part of.

I was watching some football last night…and one player took a huge hit to the head. As I watched the medical team work with him on the field…I saw one begin to ask questions to him…and I knew what they likely were. They were cussion trauma… asking questions to see if he was disoriented he was.

God’s questions can help us reorient ourselves

Today…we move into the later part of that story.

God is no longer speaking through prophets but through the direct representation of his very nature in the incarnate Christ.

Christ… begins to ask questions. And today… he asks the most central on of all. [1]


Matthew 16:13-21 (NIV)

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. 21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

The context here is one I which Jesus is beginning to turn toward his ultimate climatic confrontation with death… in which he would bear the weight of all humanity… for it was about 6 months before he was sacrificed and crucified. .

So God called a people out to know Him… Israel… not just the need for sacrifice…but that he would send one who would be sacrificed for them. God began to tell the people through the prophets of One he would send to save them…the Messiah.

But Jesus knew they had given themselves to human powers and popularity… just someone to overthrow Roman oppression.

He knew the people wanted one who would defeat Roman oppression…and save the people from their loss of power.

Humanity has always remained bent on looking at their problem as one out which can be defeated by the power of human force.

Perhaps you can begin to imagine what his heart feels as the reality of his suffering approaches…and the people don’t realize what is really at hand…the suffering and sacrifice.

Jesus understood the urgency of the hour for this event was 6 months before His crucifixiation and His disciples need to be sure for themselves who He is.

This becomes clearer as we consider that just after Peter gets it right…declares who Christ truly is…Christ begins to tell them about the suffering and sacrifice that must now come…and it would be Peter who rebukes him.

Peter the confessor becomes the refuser of suffering… the denier when it comes. But finally he would grasp what was at hand and become Peter the Rock.

And it’s not just Peter…all who surrounded Christ were perplexed at his being taken captive..and crucified.

QUESTION: "Who do you say I am?"

No mere academic question.

= Who have you determined I am to you?

Ever since Jesus came into this world we have been forced to deal with Who He is!

Interesting that Jesus prefaces this all-important question with another: Who do men say that the Son of Man is? “Who do THEY say that I am?”

Not sure exactly why…but it seems clear…that it draws out that many are swirling with speculation and presumptions…just like today.

(And “they” is always interesting…. Never clear who it represents or even what is clear.)

That is a question about which nice, polite, respectable people can have a nice, polite, respectable discussion, yet still remain aloof – above the question, still remain disinterested, still rest securely in nice, polite, respectability. It’s as if in this silly season of our national life, someone were to ask you, who do you think will win the presidential election? That’s a nice, safe question because it allows us to talk abstractly about what hypothetical other folks might or might not do three months from now.

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