Monday, April 28, 2008

Who do you say I am?

Do you Build your church on and from Jesus or?

See Matthew 16: 13-20

This is perhaps the greatest question you can ask yourself and the rest of your churches leadership. Why? This is the navigational beacon that will lead your church! Christianity is relationship driven, Christ to us and then us to others around us. Everything we do and are to do must be lined up to Him and we have to know Him first and foremost before we can point our church to the lost or start a new emergent congregation or gathering or do anything significant for His Kingdom (Gal. 4:19; Col. 1:27).

This passage gives us a look into a postmodern mind and directs us as a church to go to them and reach them. We are to be the magnet to Christ, to point others who are confused or hardened to Him in the best way we can. Christ places a call in us, it is like a magnet that is on a compass that always points north, except ours points to Christ, lead us by the Holy Spirit as He is our compass as well as His Word. This also needs to form a heart for the lost and disenfranchised. In such a way you as a leader and as a church are the epistle to a new emerging generation, one that will be read. One that needs to point to Truth. His Word and precepts need to be a part of who we are so we have something to say and lead others too. Then we are to metabolize it to new cultural changes and find new ways to present this truth without dilution. This is what the original Church was meant to do, what we are called to do (2 Cor. 3:3).

In this Matthew passage, Jesus is surrounded by a crowd of people, all wondering, who is this Guy? Perhaps, in the wonder and excitement, the crowd is perplexed and confused, yet, willing and able to give their opinions. This is what the people around you are like and need, to see this Guy. Then, Jesus uses this as an opportunity to test His Disciples. Who do the people say I am? Who do you say I am? Are they ready to know? Do they know? The women from Canaan knew (Matt. 15:21-28). And, the previous passage seems to indicate the Leaders must have known, but refused to accept the Truth. Peter boldly steps up with his opinion, which does not adhere to the opinions of the crowd, rises, and proclaims his faith. He takes a risk, and even, perhaps, ridicule from both the crowd and the other Disciples as he proclaims, He is the Great I Am.

This is a lesson to us that we have to remain in His truth and not worry about what crowds or trends have to say. Their wonderings and musings are conflicted opinions that are rooted in mere ideas rather than facts. Presumptions give into assumptions that tend to be absent of truth or effectual reality. Would they want to know the Truth if they knew their beliefs were wrong? Or would they not care, desiring rather to stay in their wrong beliefs? What about you and the people Christ has called you to go too? This passage is about not following the crowds, but rather allowing the Father to reveal, by the work of the Spirit, who Jesus is. He is the One who reveals; no person or opinion, no matter how good and informed, can take the place of His Revelation.

What do you think?