Faithlife Sermons

What do you think?

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Our Story today unfolds way up north of Jerusalem.
In fact, it’s pretty amazing if you have never considered the geographical area Jesus covered in His 3.5 year ministry.
Reading through the gospels without looking up the places gives us a false sense of this circuit. I used to think it was just around Jerusalem and Galilee, but soon found out just how far He travelled.
Caesarea Philippi, is some 120+ miles north of Jerusalem.
You know they walked everywhere?
Walking from Jerusalem to this place at the foot of Mt. Hermon, would be equivalent to walking from here to Wells Beach ME by the highway!
Two weeks ago, Jim shared a message about the Syrophoenician Woman in Tyre.
Tyre is 30 miles west of Mt Hermon.
If you were to look at it on the map you would find that He travelled extensively throughout the entire area given to the twelve tribes of Israel.
He made sure His message was heard in all of Israel!
So here on the road, in this out of the way place, Jesus asks what is probably the most profound question:
Who do men say that I Am?
I really find it interesting that He asks His disciples this question.
I mean, if He really wanted to know what people thought, why not just get it from the horses mouth, so to speak?
See, Jesus was the Master strategist. Why not do a door to door survey?
They could take little index cards, and have a set of already written questions, and then they could compile the results around the evening campfire!
Why ask the 12?
If you think about it, these guys never had a clue about anything!
You remember when Jesus said to them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees? They spent the next 15 minutes arguing and blaming each other cause they forgot to take bread with them.
I think there was an ulterior motive behind this question!

Have you ever noticed, that Jesus never asks a question He doesn’t already know the answer to?

So let’s imagine for a moment that Jesus is right here, right now, and He’s asking us this question ...
Asking ourselves.

I. Who do men say that I Am?

Do we really know the answer to this question today?
Do we naively believe that people can figure it out, or should figure it out for themselves?
Is it possible for them to know without some divine intervention?
John 1:1–13 NKJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:1-13
Don’t let the enemy fool you - Regardless of how close to the truth an unsaved person comes, they do not have the answer to Jesus’ question!
Think for a moment about every conversation you’ve ever had with anyone. Were they able to tell you who Jesus really is?
Do they know it in their heart?
People pacify themselves with head knowledge, when God is really looking for Heart knowledge!
Even saying all the right answers won’t alleviate the burden and guilt of sin, because the demons of hell believe and tremble!
We need to understand, i mean really get this, that the people of the world who are not under the covenant of faith, do not truly know who Jesus is!
They may speak highly of God, but do love Jesus!
Ephesians 6:24 NKJV
Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Now after asking us the first question, Jesus asks us...

II. Who do you say that I Am?

Jesus had 12 hand picked disciples.
3 were brought into the inner circle and shared more personal interaction with Jesus.
But only one of them knew the answer to Jesus’ question, and His answer was not something he figured out, but was given to him by God.
At this point, we have to ask ourselves - Why Peter?
I mean, he was...
And cursed like a sailor
Truly there must have been better disciples to inspire than Peter?
Yet, of all the disciples, I believe Peter was the one who followed Jesus Hardest!
And by the way...

Peter was also the only one who got out of the boat and walked on water!

Which makes me wonder -
Is there a correlation between being sold out for Jesus and divine inspiration or favor?
You remember the prophet Elijah? He had a apprentice named Elisha.
Elisha was so sold out to His call to be a prophet that he literally burned his past as a farmer, and followed Elijah.
When the day came that God revealed to Elijah that he himself would be taken up to Heaven in a whirlwind, Elisha knowing this would not leave his side. As they travelled that day, there were two stops they made where other prophets asked Elisha, “do you know that your master is going to be taken up from you today?” Elisha knew and continued following. Multiple times Elijah told Elisha to stay where they were so he could go ahead alone, but Elisha’s answer was always the same:
“As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.”
When the two men crossed the Jordan together for the last time, Many of the prophets that followed stayed behind watching from a distance, but not Elisha. He followed Elijah. When Elijah asked what he could do for Elisha, he answered,
“To receive a double portion of the Spirit of Elijah!”
Guess what, He did!
What might our lives be like if we would follow hard after Jesus?
Let me give you a few practical things to take with you:
1. God wants you to understand that the world does not know who Jesus really is.
2. We are the only ones who know the truth.
3. No one will ever know it unless we share it with them.
3. No one will ever know it unless we share it with them.
3. No one will ever know it unless we share it with them.
Now that’s a sobering thought!
We are the only ones who know the truth.
And I may or may not be comfortable with that, but knowing that God expects this of me I know that He will give me what I need to do it!
So Who do you say
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