Today’s Reading: Matthew 16:13-17

“But you,” He asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”

Matthew 16:15

Reflection: Who is Jesus? While the world may try to answer this question, only those who draw near to Jesus receive the blessing of knowing Him in His fullness. When Jesus asks His disciples who others say that He is, the disciples reply that He is thought to be like other great men in history: John the Baptist, who implored repentance of the Jewish people; Elijah, who performed great miracles; or Jeremiah, who proclaimed God’s prophesies.

While these answers spoke of the high acclaim with which the multitudes regarded Jesus, they still fell short of Jesus’ true and complete identity. Only Peter, by revelation of God the Father, answers correctly. He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Declaring Jesus as the Messiah showed that Peter understood Jesus as God’s promised Savior of His people. To declare Jesus as the Son of the Living God showed that Peter understood Jesus to be God Himself.

Why does it matter what we believe about Jesus? While an answer to the question seems like a judgment of Jesus, it really is a judgment upon ourselves. This is because what we believe about Jesus affects the rest of our lives. Understanding Him to be the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, transforms our understanding of our world, reveals the truth about our need for Him, and guides our journey with Him into eternity. Believing Jesus to be anything less than Who He professed Himself to be leaves us with only our own feeble abilities to navigate through eternity without Him.

The Son of the Living God has revealed Himself to us, desiring for us to be transformed by this truth. Who do you say that Jesus is? Life is far more meaningful when we draw near to Him and get to know Him in His fullness.

Prayer: Loving God, thank You that by Your grace You sent Your Beloved Son to draw near to me. Thank You for a life of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that You grant me when I choose to be near to You. I pray that the Truth You’ve revealed to me about Jesus would guide my life today and everyday. In His Precious Name I pray, AMEN.

Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Matthew 16; Numbers 1-2; Ecclesiastes 3:1-15