Whether you are joining us for the sugar fast, or not, I hope this devotional (from the 40 Day Sugar Fast), on Matthew 16, will inspire you to answer the most important question of your life.
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A Rock Solid Core
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15-17 AMP)
Today’s Reading: Matthew 16
We stood at the base of the towering rock wall, which was over 100 feet high and about 500 feet wide. Varying hues of terra cotta and slate produced a marbled effect on the rock-face, as we observed the ancient ruins before us.
The location was Caesarea Philippi, near the ancient city of Dan, near the Banias Spring, which is the northeast corner of Israel called the Golan Heights. It used to be a center for pagan worship, specifically to the god of Pan.
A wide-mouthed grotto, located near the base of the massive cliff, was thought to be the entrance to the underworld.
And it is here that the stage is set for today’s reading.
Jesus’ ministry on earth is nearing an end. He has invested in his disciples for almost three years, teaching them timeless, unchanging truth to guide them and serve as the bedrock for the advancement of the Gospel.
At the base of this rock-wall, in ancient Caesarea Philippi, near the place thought to be the entrance to Hades, we witness a stark contrast between darkness and light as Jesus asks a most important question (see Matthew 16:13-15, AMP):
Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah, or [just] one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
In verse 16, Simon Peter answers, “…You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”The most important question ever is: Who do you say Jesus is? Click To Tweet
With shrines to pagan (dead) gods, as a backdrop, Peter declares Jesus’ true identity. Peter (stirred by a revelation from God in Heaven) acknowledges that Jesus is the living God.
And Jesus responds (in verse 18, NASB), “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”
Another version (ESV) says, “…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Jesus is our rock-solid core, our cornerstone, giving us what we need for life and godliness. He continues to build His unshakeable Kingdom and we have an active role in it: to live set apart for Christ in a world that bows to idols and not only tolerates, but embraces sin.
Jesus is not “just” one of the prophets. He is not a dead god. He is the living God who supplies us—His church, His body—with sustaining power, so we are not overcome by darkness.
The most important question ever is: Who do you say Jesus is?
Your answer will impact your everyday choices and your eternal destination.
Thank You that You are not dead. You are the Living God who is able to uphold me when my world feels like it’s falling apart. You have established Your throne in heaven and Your kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19). I bow to You and ask You to rule and reign in my mortal body, that I might be built up, upon You, the solid rock. In You I find lasting comfort, hope in hard times, and consistency in a culture of chaos. Instead of running to temporary fixes, help me run straight to You, my Rock and my Redeemer. Thank You for sacrificing Yourself so that I can live pure and whole, in this life and the next.
Amen.Jesus is not “just” one of the prophets. He is not a dead god. He is the living God who supplies us—His church, His body—with sustaining power, so we are not overcome by darkness. Click To Tweet
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