Focal passage: Matthew 16: 13-28
Recently, my bank called and asked if I had made any purchases in Pennsylvania with my credit card. I told them no, so they immediately canceled the card and reissued a new one.
For the next several days, I continued to check my accounts for suspicious behavior. I could only imagine the hardships and problems that would follow if someone had not only taken my credit card but also stolen my identity.
As important as my identity is to me, there is another person’s identity that is far more significant. His name is Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where many people have mistaken Jesus for someone else. Some say he was an important historical figure, but not the Messiah.
Others claim he was a great teacher, but not a Savior. Some think he was a great prophet, but not God.
Of course, this is not new to our day. When Jesus walked the earth, many people mistook His identity. The Pharisees thought he was demonic. Others thought he might be John the Baptist or Elijah. But, as we note in our focal passage, when Peter was asked who Jesus was he rightly responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
Peter’s answer is a proclamation of the most important truth in all of scripture. Namely, that Jesus is God sent from the Father to be our Savior.
When people misunderstand or reject that truth the consequences are not like my temporary issues when someone stole my credit card. They are eternal in scope.
Getting it wrong about the person and nature of Christ means the difference between heaven and hell. Thus, helping others rightly identify Jesus is one of the greatest responsibilities a believer will undertake.
Of course, we must realize that only God can change the heart (Matthew 16:17), but nevertheless, we still have the privilege to point people in the right direction.
What will you do to point people to the true Christ?