This is the sermon I will be preaching in the morning.
Update: here is the link for the audio
Mat 16:13-20 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14They 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?"
16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And 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. 19I 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." 20Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
Jesus has been with the disciples for a while now. They have seen Him perform many miracles. They have watched Him walk on water, calm the sea, heal people and cast out demons. They have listened to Him argue with the Pharisees and Sadducees. They have heard Him preach many lessons. They have been offered a chance to leave and they said “where would we go?” So now in chapter 16 of Matthew vs. 13 they are entering Caesarea Philippi.
Ceaseara Philippi is one of two towns in Judea named Caesarea. Caesarea Philippi was named by Herod the Tetrarch in honor of Augustus Caesar and the name Philippi is in owner of Herod's son Phillip the tetrarch who rebuilt and beautified the city. It was located at the southwest base of Mt. Hermon. Originally it was called Paneas for the god Pan. And at one point in its history it was a center for Baal worship.
Jesus and the disciples are standing in an area that has a long history of sin as Peter makes his confession. I think that's important because when Jesus calls us we are standing in an area (our life) that is filled with a history of sin. When we confess Jesus as our savior we are saying I'm here trapped in this sin save me from it.
And Jesus asks " Who do People say that the son of man is" Whom do men say that I the son of man am? Notice he calls Himself Son of Man. Jesus wants them to answer about the human side of Him. Jesus wants Peter to acknowledge what the crowds that follow them are saying about this man Jesus who is walking around preaching and performing amazing miracles. This man who is not afraid to challenge the religous establishment of the day.
Vs. 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
Notice everyone they have suggested is someone who is dead or gone as in the case of Elijah. The crowds recognize there is something supernatural about Jesus. They may not realize that this is Immanuel (God with us) but they do know that this is not a regular man. In Mark's Gospel the authority that Jesus speaks with stands out. In Mark 1:22 they were amazed because he taught as one with authority and not as the teachers of the law. The Jews notice that Jesus doesn't speak as someone who has studied the law but as someone who knows God personally.
Some say John the Baptist. John the Baptist! John the Baptist had been beheaded a few months before. Look at what the man that ordered for John's head to be taken said about Jesus. Matthew 14:1-2
1At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, 2and he said to his attendants, "This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him."
Herod believed Jesus was John the Baptist. He believed that somehow John had come back from the dead. Many others in the crowd of followers believed Jesus was John the Baptist.
Others say Elijah, Elijah was a powerful man. He was able to perform miracles and they knew that Malachi 4:5 had prophesied that Elijah would come back before the day of the Lord. So it made sense to many that this must be Elijah. Elijah never died and had went to be with God already. In Matthew 17 Jesus is talking to the disciples and they ask Him about Elijah coming first and Jesus tells them in Vs. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. Then they realize in Vs. 13 that John was the one that came in the spirit of Elijah. Peter actually witnessed Moses and Elijah carrying on a conversation with Jesus.
Still others Jeremiah. Wait! Jeremiah! Why Jeremiah? To truly understand why a Jewish man in Jesus's day would think of Jeremiah we have to read the same thing the Jewish people read. There is a series of books called the apocrypha. Apocrypha comes from a Greek word that means "those that have been hidden away". They are a series of writings that are not considered to belong in the canon of the bible. Martin Luther said the apocrypha was 'Useful historical writings”. He also believed that while these books were not inspired Christians should be familiar with them and at times they should even be read in services. The original King James of 1611 contained these books and so do many Catholic bibles today. In the apocryphical books of Maccabees we have some Jewish history and in those terrible times of the seculid kings we read about a revolt. In 2 Maccabees 2:4-7 we read about Jeremiah taking the ark of the Covenant and hiding it in a cave and 2Ma 2:4 It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
2Ma 2:5 And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
2Ma 2:6 And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
2Ma 2:7 Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.
The Jewish people having heard this and the stories about it believed that Jesus was Jeremiah coming to bring the ark of God out of the cave.
Or one of the prophets.
Notice Peter didn't say a prophet. He said one of the prophets. In Luke's account of this event he even says "Or one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life." (Luke 9:19)
They are now thinking of all the prophets and saying he could be this one or that one, but no one is saying hey maybe he is a new prophet, and definitely no one is suggesting that this is the Son of God
In every case the Jews believed that Jesus was someone that had risen from the dead. They believe that Jesus is someone who has been with God but they do not understand that this is God in Human flesh.
Vs. 15 Jesus looks at Peter "But What about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Who Do you say I am?
That is the most important question you will ever answer. Even if you don't believe in Jesus, on the day of judgement you will stand in front of Jesus and answer that question.
Think about that for a minute! Who do you say I am?
That is an important question for all of us to ask .Who do you say Jesus is? That is the question of a lifetime the answer either brings you eternal life or eternal damnation. Think about that the most important question you will ever answer and you will have to answer it someday is; Who do you say I am?
I have heard people say Jesus is a great teacher, but not God. The problem with this view is Jesus went around telling people that he was the son of God. If a man was walking around today and he appeared to be a genius and everyone was amazed at what a great teacher he was, but then this man started telling you well I'm just telling you this because I'm God. I'm the only way to heaven and oh yeah to get there you have to eat my flesh and drink my blood. If Jesus was not God then he was a stark raving lunatic. Are you going to go to an asylum and expect to see a great teacher? NO! Are you going to call a crazy person a great teacher?
Many people believe he was a prophet, but not the savior. The problem with that is that God gave us through Moses a way to test the prophets. In Deutronomy 18 Moses says to see if a prophet was sent by God is to see if his prophecy comes true if it does God sent him. Jesus’s prophecy of dying and coming back to life was true. He also said that He was the one sent by God.
Who Do you Say I Am?
How many would answer that with, my Lord and Savior. That is how Peter summed it up. In 2 Peter, Peter refers to Jesus as our Lord and Savior 4 times. In that short letter that is how Peter sees Jesus, and that is how we should view Jesus. Our Lord and Savior. I want to take a minute and talk about these two words though. The word Lord is (koo'-ree-os) it means supreme in authority, controller and master. Basically Lord can be summed up King. King Jesus!
A King is ruler the supreme one in authority and a kings subjects would refer to him as Lord. When we say Jesus is our Lord we are saying that he is our King. A king has many responsibilities they are to keep invaders out and protect their subjects. They are to try and grow their Kingdom and maintain control of those that are subject to them. King Jesus does all these things
· 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
o Jesus will not let sin invade us if we resist it.
· John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.
o Jesus protects us.
· Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
o Jesus builds His kingdom.
· Hebrews 12:6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
o The Lord Disciplines those that are his
My question is how many of you that claim that Jesus is your Lord; live your life, as if He is your King. When you walked in this sanctuary this morning, Did you walk in with the same reverence you would if you were walking up to the throne of a King? Our King gave us a book that tells us what he expects of us! Did you follow the orders of your King this week. Did you even read the orders that your King gave you?
Maybe you don’t like thinking of Jesus as King. Thinking of Jesus that way bothers you. You like thinking of Jesus as a loving Priest that forgives you of your sins. You say I live under grace and the bible says that is all that is necessary. Grace alone! Grace Alone! Actually the Bible says repent and be saved. Read Mat_11:20-24 It will really rain on your day if you think you can live your life however you want and Jesus is going to say that’s okay you tried. And do you know why; because you didn’t try! It sounds to you like I’m saying works are required. You are going to hate this, if that is what you think. Grace is the Greek word charis (khar'-ece) guess what it means the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. Did you catch that “and its reflection in the life” part. Yeah people should see that reflection of Jesus in your life. They see they by the way you serve Him.
God has forgiven us through grace and I want to come back to that, but first I want us to read a parable Jesus told in Luke 19. Luke tells us that Jesus told this parable because the disciples believed the Kingdom of God was about to appear. Jesus tells this parable to let them know that it was time for Him to begin His Earthly reign. If everyone one is there I’m going to start in Vs. 12
He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a]'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.' 14"But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.' 15"He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16"The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'
17" 'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'
18"The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.'
19"His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'
20"Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.'
22"His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'
24"Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'
25" 'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!'
26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."
Jesus is talking about ascending to heaven and returning at his second coming. At Judgement.
Look at Vs. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."
Are you allowing Jesus to reign over you? This passage clearly shows us that we are to serve the Lord as King here on earth. The bible clearly teaches us this. And if you don’t want to accept the fact that you are a servant to King Jesus, you will hate heaven anyways, because the bible also shows us that Jesus will reign in a heavenly Kingdom and an Earthly Kingdom.
Jesus is my Lord and Savior
Now what about Jesus as savior. At night I like to watch old TV shows and one of my favorites is the Andy Griffith Show. A few weeks back the episode where Andy saved Gomer’s life was on. Andy sees that the service station is on fire and he runs in and pulls Gomer out. If you have never seen this episode just about every television show made up until reality shows ruined television had a show with a similar plot. So Andy saves Gomer’s life. Gomer is so thankful that he serves Andy in every way he can. He does so to the point he becomes annoying to Andy. If you truly understood what it means to call Jesus your savior then you should be that thankful. So thankful that your life revolves around trying to do everything you can to serve Jesus.
Think about this for a minute. God created man, man said I don’t need you and your authority. And thereby sentencing man to death. God decides to save man by.. now look at this… God who created man and owes us nothing decided to save us. He did this by coming to Earth as man. He came in the form of the Son of God… JESUS! Then he allowed His creation to beat Him, Spit on Him, Rip His beard out and then after making fun of Him nail him to a cross and leave Him hanging till he died. God who at any time could have called down a whole host of Angels to destroy us. Allowed us, His creation, to Kill Him. And in that death our sins were washed away. Now it gets even better. God, Jesus rises from the grave and ascends to Heaven so that we too can go to be with the father in Heaven. If God didn’t do this for us. If God didn’t save us in this way we would go to Hell. And all we have to do to accept this salvation is believe. That Jesus Christ is the son of God that came and died for our sins and then rose again. That’s it! Just believe and that doesn’t make you want to drop on your knees and cry out, thank you Lord Jesus! I give my life to You. All of me! I Live for you. My life is an offering to you Lord. Are you not that grateful that He saved you. And being saved did not end on that day on the cross. Jesus saved you that day and every day since he has been saving you by that divine influence on the heart, that reflects in ones life that divine influence that refines and makes pure. And we will be saved on that day of Judgment when we stand before God and Jesus says oh that one I paid his fine already.
Saved by grace. If you are saved you will feel that divine influence on your heart, that convicting of sin that helps to purify and give you the righteousness that only comes from Jesus Christ. James said Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. That’s because that divine influence in James reflects.
We are saved by grace, But when you look at what Jesus did for you. What that Grace cost Jesus. If that doesn’t make you want to serve and demonstrate that you serve Jesus, then you don’t truly understand what the one you are calling Lord and savior did for you.
I think I want to go a little deeper here Because I have been emphasizing the deity of Jesus. The fact that He was God. But to truly understand the cost of that forgiveness you have to see that Jesus was also fully man. Let’s look and see how human Jesus was.
Mark 11:12 The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
John 19:28 Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty."
John 11:35 Jesus wept
Jesus hungered, thirsted, wept, and he was tempted by the devil. He felt sorrow at Gethesamne. Matthew 26:38 When Jesus was in the garden of gethsemane he prayed "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
When Jesus was nailed to that roman cross He felt the pain just as you and I would. When Jesus died for our sins. It was a horrible punishment for Him. He felt the humiliation, the emotional and physical hurts just as we would.
Yet even knowing what he was about to go through Jesus suffered for us. Why?
You are the Christ the son of the living God.
Because Jesus was the christ the son of the living God come to take away the sin of the world. What has become known as Peter's confession is that Jesus is the Christ the on of the living God. What does this mean though. What did it mean to Peter 2000 years ago as he stood next to Jesus saying these words. When Peter said you are the Christ he is acknowledging that Jesus is the annoited or the one sent by God The prophets had told the Jews that God was sending someone to come to them and take over and rule. These prophecies go as far back as Genesis 3. When Peter says the son of the living God Son is Peter saying I realize that you are fully human flesh and blood just like me , but I also realize that you are God the one true living God.
Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my father in heaven.
If your translation says Bar-Jonah that just means son of Jonah. Jesus called Peter that because He was acknowledging That Peter was born of man but Jesus was born of God. Now I want to look at what Jesus meant by his was not revealed to you by man. Have you ever thought about what Christians believe and how unbelievable it sounds to an unbeliever. This man Jesus who was fully God, but also fully man, was born of a virgin. He brought people back from the dead healed them then he was killed. three days later he rose. Visited a whole bunch of people then kind of floated up to heaven in their sight. He is coming back though with a sword in his mouth to take over. All of this was done so that we could go to heaven you know that place where the streets are made of gold. What we believe is pretty amazing and god has to prepare our hearts for that message. John says that God draws us. then as Peter did we have to confess who Christ is.
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.
In the verse before this one Jesus called Peter Simon. it's not unusual for God to change a mans name when he decides to use them.
Saul became Paul.
Abram became Abraham.
Jacob became Israel
The Greek meaning for Simon is a name. It comes from a old testament Hebrew name Simeon (The son of Jacob) which means hearing. But the meaning of Simon is just a name. Jesus renames Simon Peter here. Peter is a Greek word Petros (pet'-ros) which means a piece of rock, like a stone or boulder. The word rock in this verse is Petra it means a large slab of Rock. It is the same word that is used in look when talking about the wise builder who dug down deep and laid the foundation of his house on Rock (Petra). So I'm going to read this verse now with our new words and let's think about what it means that way. And I tell you that you are Petros, and on this Petra I will build my church. I tell you that you are just a small rock Simon, but on this solid rock I will build my church.
I go through all of that to demonstrate that while some denominations believe that Jesus was telling Peter that he was going to build the church on him that is incorrect. Jesus is the cornerstone of the church. The foundation which as any of the builders here today will tell you is the most important part is the fact that Jesus is the Christ. The one sent to take away the sins of man. Church (ekklēsia -ek-klay-see'-ah) simply means assembly. It's used in Acts to mean a riot. When Jesus says My Church He means a called out assembly of believers. It has nothing to do with a building or a denomination. it also does not mean everyone in the building. The church is the believers of the world and it is built on the fact and belief in that fact that Jesus is the Son of God come into the world to forgive man of sin through His death and resurrection.
And the Gates of Hell will not overcome it.
That is to say that the devil will never stop it. to fully understand this you must look at the persecution of the early church. Acts talks about a little of the persecution; Being thrown in jail, put in stocks, beaten. In 1563 a man named John Foxe printed an English translation of his book Acts and Monuments of These Later and Perilous Days. We know it as Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Foxe took the historical accounts of the early persecution of the church and put them into a book. I'm Just going to tell you about the deaths of the apostles and despite theses horrible deaths the number of Christians grew daily.
Peter, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Jude, Simon the Zealot = Crucified
James, Matthew, Matthias, Paul = Beheaded
Thomas = Speared
James = beaten and thrown from temple roof then had his head busted open with a tool used to beat cloth as he prayed for those who had beaten him.
And John before he was banished to the Isle of Patmos was dipped in a cauldron of boiling oil before being banished. history records he escaped this without injury.
Despite Satan doing his best to hold back the spread of Christianity. It grew to what we have today.
In conclusion I'm going to sum up what we have heard today. We come to our knowledge of Jesus surrounded by our sin. Our sin pulls us toward Hell, but Jesus reveals Himself to us. Then all we have to do is as Romans 10:9 says If we confess with our mouths that Jesus is lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, We will be saved. But by confessing that Jesus is Lord. We are saying that Jesus is King of our lives, that we will serve him in whatever way he calls us to serve him. Our Lives will reflect that Lordship Jesus has over us. Just as a subject of a king would bow down to their King we will bow down to Jesus. We realize that Jesus has no use for us if we don't want Him to reign over us. If we understand what being saved truly means and the extent and the cost of it we will be grateful for that saving grace. People will see that gratefulness we have to the Lord reflected in our lives. By believing in Jesus as the Christ the Son of the living God we become members of the Church and Satan will never take that away from us. If we live our lives as if Jesus is our King we will aid in the growing of that Kingdom Jesus' Church.