We’ve spent the last seven Sundays learning about who Jesus is. When Jesus asks his disciples in Matthew 16, “who do people say that the Son of Man is?” they have multiple responses, but then Jesus turns the question toward his disciples – the ones who had spent time with him, traveled with him, who knew him best. When Jesus asks “who do you say that I am,” Simon Peter’s response is “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Messiah means the same thing as Christ: “anointed.” In Israel’s history, the “anointed one” was God’s chosen leader, the king, of the people. Peter is testifying that Jesus is God’s chosen and anointed King, and by claiming that Jesus is king, Peter has wrestled with the questions that come with kingship. How does the king act? What does the kingdom look like? What does it mean to be a citizen of that kingdom? What are the king’s directives for me? Am I serving another king? We’re invited to wrestle with those same questions. To claim that Jesus is King is to deny the kingship of everything else; it is to be called out, called away, from worshiping anything other than Jesus, whether that is our jobs, our families, our money, our home, substances, even ourselves. We are called out from death. We are called out from anything that separates us from the love of God in Jesus the King, because relationship with Jesus is the goal. When we live as though Jesus is King, God continues to reveal more and more about himself through his Spirit living in us. It is a sign of God’s graciousness to us. The mind and the heart of King Jesus is life and it is peace – the kind of life and peace that only comes when Jesus is King. So, who do you say that Jesus is?
- Matthew 16:13 - 20