In Matthew 16:13, “13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, ‘Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?’" Jesus chose an interesting place to question his disciples.
Today it is uninhabited archaeological site in the Golan Heights. In that day it was a great city. Herod the Great had built a white marble temple in honor of his Caesar. It is also the site of numerous other gods of the time, not the least of which was Pan, and numerous Syrian gods such as Baal.
And then “15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”
Today, Jesus might very well ask His disciples, “Is anyone asking you Who I am?”
Unfortunately, it is too often the case that there is no qualitative difference in the lifestyles, character, or behavior between those who claim to know Him and those who do not.
If Jesus were asking His disciples today, He might ask, “Do YOU tell people Who I am?”
His disciples then did. They knew Him. Go read 1 John 1:1-3 where he says they saw Him, they listened to Him, they touched Him. Verses 3-4 say, “3 This is the life we have seen and heard. We are reporting about it to you also so that you, too, can have a relationship with us. Our relationship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing this so that we can be completely filled with joy.” according to the God’s Word for the Nations Translation.
Now, we don’t see Jesus with our eyes, we don’t hear His voice with our ears, and we aren’t able to touch Him. But those of us who have believed the Gospel know Him just the same. Jesus said, “3This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” That’s Jesus’ own definition of salvation – to know the only true God and Himself that the true living God sent.
We have a personal relationship with Him. You may not be on close speaking terms, you may not know Him well, but if you are born again, you know Him. If you know Him, you cannot say with John in 1 John 1:4, “4 … so that we can be completely filled with joy” unless you are telling other people about Him. Jesus prayed for you in John 17:13 – “13 "But now, Father, I'm coming back to you. I say these things while I'm still in the world so that they will have the same joy that I have.” If you want the joy that He had, that carried Him through His life and through His death, do whatever you have to do to become better acquainted with Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 gives us some startling revelations. In the context of knowing Him and telling people about Him, God has given over to us the ministry of reconciliation that Jesus had while He was on the Earth. If you are not acting as His ambassador executing His ministry of reconciliation, you cannot possibly have the joy He had. Is that acceptable to you? I hope not. It’s part of your inheritance.
May God richly bless you.
“7 Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
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