December 22

Text: Matthew 16:13

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"  (NASB)

Matthew saw Jesus as a person who was sure of his identity.  Note his first question was, “Who do people say I am?”  Note his second question was, “Who do you say I am?”  Never did Jesus say, “I wonder who I am.”  The question was not, “Who am I?” but, “Do others understand who I am?”

Jesus knew who he was, where he came from, who sent him, why he was on earth, and what his purpose in life was.  He knew and understood things about himself that we spend an entire lifetime seeking to know and understand about ourselves.  For example, how much do you understand about why you are on earth or what your purpose in life is?

If you confined yourself just to those two questions, how many different answers have you had?  Did your answers as a late teen change from your answers at 25?  Did your answers change at 35?  at 45?  at 55? at 65? during the older years?  Did you ever do a lot of serious wondering about your answers?

Do you realize how much your answers to those questions depended on the people you were with, or what you were doing, or the need you felt pressing on you, or your ambitions, or the advice/guidance you were receiving from others?

How much of your life was spent in a consistent understanding of who you are and what your purpose is?  Is that good or bad?  Jesus never changed his understanding of who he was or why he was here.  His answer when his ministry began (Matthew 4:1-17) and when his ministry ended (Matthew 26:36-47) was the same answer.  His behavior was consistent with his realization of who he was and what he was to do.  He was not crazy, or delusional, or harmful to others, or a reason for concern, or “a threat to society,” or a call to irresponsible conduct, or a selfish exploiter.  He was an assured person who called others to responsible relationships, caring interactions, unselfish behaviors, and purposeful living.

Matthew saw someone who taught people how to live and lived by what he taught.

Suggestion for reflection: To your inner self, how would you explain who you are?  (Read John 6:22-40.)

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