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AM20050925 The Most Important Question

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Matt 16:13-16

To you who is Jesus?

1) The First Question: Who do people say the Son of Man is?

* This question was not just to ask what people were saying about Jesus, he wanted to know the answer because the answer to this question will define the priorities of the world.  Their morality, their character, their actions. 

*The world’s response:

            A. John the Baptist

                        * What and who was John the Baptist.

                           * He was the cousin of Jesus, but more importantly he was the picture of a great spirit of righteousness, one that was even willing to be martyred for his faith

                           * People who saw Jesus as John the Baptist were in essence saying, he is a very religious man on an important mission, but he is just paving the way for the coming Messiah.

            B. Elijah

                        * What and who was Elijah

                        * Considered to be the greatest prophet and teacher of all time and was also predicted to be the forerunner of the coming Messiah.

                        * In Elijah’s ministry he performed many miracles but also preached fiery sermons.

                        * People who saw Jesus as Elijah saw him as a miracle worker and a great preacher

            C. Jeremiah

                        * Jeremiah’s job was to reveal some important things about God and religion to mankind

                        * In ancient church tradition Jeremiah is believed to have taken the Ark, the Tabernacle, the Altar of Incense, and hidden them in Mt. Nebo. 

                        * People who saw Jesus as Jeremiah were saying that he was important for religious purposes.

            D. One of the Prophets

                        * He was thought to have been an extraordinary prophet with an important message for their time, and their time only.

*But you may say, “yes but people back then didn’t have the Bible to tell them who Jesus is.  Well, let me share with you some public opinion pulled off the internet just this week.

            -Jesus was a great man of righteousness who was martyred for His faith.  Therefore he leaves a great example of how to live and stand up for what we believe.

            -Jesus was only one of the great teachers and prophets of history.

            -Jesus was only a great man who revealed some very important things to us about God and religion.  Therefore, He can make a significant contribution to every man in his search for God

            -Jesus was just a great man and prophet sent to the people (Jewish) of his day.  We can learn about Him by studying his life.

*Who do people say the son of man is?

2) The Second question: Who do you say that I am?

            *Jesus asks one of the most important questions found in the New Testament: What about you?  Who do you say that I am?

            *Jesus was no longer interested in opinion at large, he got extremely personal.

            *This is the same question I am asking you today…Who do you say that Jesus is?  or to you who is Jesus?

            *Now don’t think to hard on the question, respond with the first thing that comes to mind. 

            *Is he a great man?  Is he a righteous and just man?  Is he a good leader?  Is he an inspiration for moral living? 

            *If you know who Jesus is in your life then the answer won’t come from you, the answer will well up from the Holy Spirit inside you, as Peter responded without thinking:  You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God

*Do you understand that your answer to this question will determine your eternal destiny? 

*Also, this question is not one that you can avoid.  You can’t say, I choose not to answer that question.  Every living being has to answer the question, who do you say that I am? 

*Jesus is not looking for an ego booster, he wants a confession.  It is that confession in Christ that brings eternal salvation

*The amazing thing about Peter’s confession is that the cross had not occurred yet.  Peter was confessing: “I believe that you are….

            the true Messiah

            not a mere man

            but the Son of God

            sent by God

            to fulfill all that the prophets fortold

*Jesus said, “for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

*Today I want you to get extremely personal with Christ.  This sermon is about one thing and one thing only – your answer to that question.  What about you?  Who do you say that I am?

*Who is Jesus.

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