Need to start at the beginning? Here's Week 1
One of the stories God tells in the Bible is much simpler than we sometimes make it. Jesus was with a few of His friends and He asked them who people thought He was. These friends had heard several different stories about who Jesus was. One person said Jesus was really a man named John who had been a friend of His. Another person said He was actually a person named Elijah, and someone else said He was someone named Jeremiah. These last two great men had lived much earlier. Jesus pressed His friends a little further and asked them who they thought He was.
It must have felt like a funny question for Jesus to ask His friends who had been with Him for a few years already.
Peter spoke up first and said He thought Jesus was God. Jesus told him this wasn’t the kind of thing Peter could have figured out just because someone told him what to think. Instead, He said it’s something Peter would have only known because God told him. Jesus then told His friends something even more puzzling. He told them not to tell anyone who He was. At first, this seems to go against the grain of the evangelistic model many of us have been exposed to, but I don’t think He was trying to keep His identity a secret. Just the opposite. Jesus probably wanted us to show people who He is by what we do, not just tell them what we think. . . .
This is truly what ministry is all about, Native, urban, or international. It's about showing God's love and grace, letting the Holy Spirit move hearts, and being ready to answer when we are asked, "Why are you doing this for me?"
I don’t think we lead people to Jesus. I think Jesus leads people to Jesus. Sure, we can tell the people we meet about Jesus. I talk about Him all the time because my life is His, but I don’t try to talk people into Him. When I’ve tried and it worked, what I often found is I’d led people to me, not Him. If we take Jesus at His word, people won’t know who Jesus is because we’ve told them; they’ll know because Jesus let them know.
If you’re already friends with Jesus, don’t get in everyone else’s way as they figure it out with Him. If you’ve only heard of Him, ask Him who He is. I bet He’ll let you know.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 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. I 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.”
Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
This devotion is based on Bob Goff's book, Everybody, Always, with some variations as they related to Lutheran Indian Ministries. Buy the book here.