~ The Only Question That Ultimately Matters ~
In the life of every person there is one question which if answered incorrectly or left unanswered has fatal and eternal consequences. Your answer determines your eternal destiny!
It is a question that Jesus Christ asked Peter in Matthew 16:15. “Who do you say that I am?” Some individuals are only given one direct opportunity to answer correctly. Since you are reading this you have had at least one chance.
Consider the question within its passage. “Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, ‘Who do men say that I am?’ So they answered, ‘John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said to Him, ‘You are the Christ’ (Mark 8:27-29, compare Luke 9:18-20 and Matthew 16:13-19).
There are a number of important things to notice about this passage.
(1) Jesus was asking not just Peter but everyone in the group. Today, Jesus is not just asking a few but everyone—including you.
(2) There were a number of differing responses given. In a similar way today many answers are given. Some today say Jesus was “a good man,” others say He was “a teacher of what is right,” others reply He was “a prophet,” while others say He was “a founder of a religion.” There are many additional answers which are often given. Jesus Christ gave this emphatic response, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to God but through Me” (John 14:6).
(3) Jesus zeroed in on the individual and made it clear that knowing what others thought was not the issue. The key question which Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is asking you today is “Who do YOU say that I am?”
(4) While Peter had many failings—he was a sinner like you and me—he got this most critical answer right! Jesus Christ is the Christ (Messiah). As a result of his response, “Jesus answered and said to 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 I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock [Jesus Christ—the Messiah] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it’” (Matthew 16:13-18).
(5) The Messiah verified Peter’s answer as correct.
(6) One can only answer correctly if God Himself reveals the answer to him. The Scriptures say that spiritual truth requires spiritual sight—just like natural things are seen through physical sight. The great news is that all those who truly want to know the truth will have their spiritual eyes opened and spiritual truth will be revealed to them.
(7) Jesus Christ went on to assure Peter that His was a cause which will ultimately win.
why should you care? Consider three quotes: “I'd rather lose in a cause that will ultimately succeed, than succeed in one that will ultimately fail” (Abraham Lincoln). “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” (Jim Elliot). “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? (Luke 9:25).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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