Wednesday, October 10, 2012

J - Jesus

In my previous post ("The Kingdom"), I mentioned that it begins with Jesus. Why? Because He is the Way. If we are to seek the Kingdom, then we need to know where to look. We need to know the way to get there. Jesus said He is the Way. So it is with Jesus we begin.

In Matthew 16.13-20, Jesus speaks to His disciples to determine who others consider Him to be, but more importantly who they consider Him to be. He has performed many miracles in the preceding chapters and yet the religious leaders of the day ask for signs. His own followers must be thinking of pretty highly of themselves for having been chosen by Jesus.

So, Jesus gets their attention by not only asking who they consider Him to be, but the tone suggests that He wants to know what they want from Him. Jesus is testing their commitment. Peter's declaration of Jesus being the Son of the living God grants Jesus to declare His authority by instituting the church. He has already stated the Kingdom is near (Matthew 4.17). He has described the Kingdom in many ways (Matthew 13) and now Jesus establishes the church as an agent of the Kingdom.

Of course, Jesus had the authority to do so, but He wanted to make sure the disciples recognized it. The same is true for you and I. Jesus still has the authority (Matthew 28.18), but do we recognize it. As we do, we are also unleashed to do His work in His power. As we do, we are not only seeking the Kingdom, we are realizing its presence in our lives and in the lives of those we love and serve. As we do, we truly are enabled to live fotonni.

The question for you and I today is the same question Jesus asked His followers nearly 2000 years ago: Who do you say that I am? The answer may seem simple. But the implications are enormous.

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