Blessed… Who Am I?

Now when Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Human One is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” He said, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Then Jesus replied, “Happy are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you. Rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you.  I tell you that you are Peter. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it.  I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” Then he ordered the disciples not to tell anybody that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16:13-20, Common English Bible).

Today’s lesson is another of my favorites in Matthew’s gospel. We are going to stay here for a few days and see what we might pick up in this story.

Do you remember the old children’s game, “Who Am I?” I had a teacher in elementary school who loved the game, well at least as a teaching aide. She thought it was a great way to for us to get to know characters in history or characters in the fiction reading books she assigned. I can remember her lessons for historical characters like Sam Houston, Daniel Boone and William B. Travis to name but a few (it was fourth grade and in Texas fourth grade means Texas history.

In today’s lesson Jesus asks the disciples to play a bit of “Who Am I” with him except he puts a bit of a twist on the game. He first asks the disciples who people around the countryside say he is. That one is a pretty easy question to answer. If I were to take a poll of my readers, asking you to leave a comment about who people around you say Jesus is, you would probably have a pretty easy time answering that question. You see, the question is about your knowledge about what other people think. The answer could range anywhere from “a very good man who loved everyone” to “a figure from ancient history” to “The Messiah” to “a mythological man who never existed” (remember, this is what others think, you really can’t leave any of those out). There could also be any number of similar answers.

As for the disciples, their answer was, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” That makes sense. They are answering who others thought Jesus might be.

Now Jesus turns the table in this little game of “Who Am I?” He now asks, “But what about you, who do you say I am?” As usual, Peter is the first to come up with an answer to the question, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus’ question is a question we all have to answer. “Who do you say he is?” That question is the most basic of faith questions. For the Christian, almost everything rides on the answer.

Who do you say He Is?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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