Title: “And the Correct Answer Is…!”
Text: Mark 8:29
“And He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered Him, ‘You are the Christ.’” (Mk. 8:29)
“Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered Him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven… and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’” (Matthew 16:16-18).
Why was it so important for the disciples to answer the question that Jesus posed to them? Because He is about to now clearly state His mission to them… and they would be the leaders of this mission once He was gone. In fact, they don’t know yet that He will be leaving – He is about to reveal that – but they will have to be clear about His identity and His purpose. So, the answer to this question is all-important. I can imagine if this scene in a Hollywood movie… Jesus asks the question… they all stop walking, as He faces the disciples… the music swells in anticipation, and then goes silent as Peter speaks for the entire group:
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
More silence. Jesus looks at them, but says nothing at first. They look at each other with quizzical looks… and then He says, “Simon Bar-Jonah, you nailed it!!!” (Ok… my dramatic interpretation) And he does nail it, because that is exactly who Jesus is… but then Jesus goes on to tag on an addendum: “And upon the solid, bedrock foundation of that revelation, guys, I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!”
“Upon this rock I will build My church.” Yes, it was on this statement of who Jesus is that He said He would build His church – a universal body of believers from every tribe and every nation; every race, creed, and color; whose lives individually have been so transformed that collectively they represent Jesus’ character and Kingdom on earth, and lead countless others to become His disciples. THIS church is built on Jesus… not on a denomination; not on a creed; not on a political party; not on a cultural community (Black church, White, church, Hispanic church); but on JESUS! ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism… ONE people of God under ONE banner, who ALL WORSHIP THE SON! THIS is the church that Jesus said He would build!
“… and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!” This church – built by Jesus, and powered by His Spirit – is always on the offensive, never in retreat, penetrating the darkness… and hell’s gates will not be able to withstand the onslaught! And when the Church today wakes up and realizes who she is… the power that is inherent within her… the resources that are available to her… and the victory that has already been won FOR her… then the Church will make an even greater impact. But it starts with the foundation…
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” THAT is the foundation. Not big-name churches. Not celebrity pastors. Not entertainment centers posing a worship centers. Not social clubs…
… but HIS Church. Jesus Christ… the Son of the living God.
Lord Jesus… you didn’t call us to build churches; that’s Your job… and You promised to o it. Help us to be about the Kingdom business of being the people You’ve called us to be… to live out transformed lives that love the way You love and serve the way You serve… so that, indeed Your Church would be built – not by us – but through us… we who are committed to You and have surrendered our lives to You, and who follow You every day. By Your grace alone and in the strong name of Jesus we pray… Amen!
Title: “And the Correct Answer Is…!”