Monday, August 04, 2008

Who do you say I am?

Building your Church from Matthew 16: 13-20...

This is perhaps the greatest question you can ask yourself and the rest of your church’s 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. We have to know Him first and foremost before we can point our church to the lost, 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 a magnet to draw those who are confused or hardened to Christ in the best way we can. He places a call in us; it is like a magnet that is on a compass that always points north, except ours points to Christ, leading us by the Holy Spirit as He, as well as His Word, is our compass. We need to form a heart for the lost and disenfranchised. In such a way, you as a leader, alongside the 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 as we lead others. 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, and what we are called to do (2 Cor. 3:3).

In this Matthew passage, Jesus is surrounded by a crowd of people who are all probably 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 need to see—this Guy. 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; he 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 serves as 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 to? This passage is about not following the crowds, 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.

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