Insight of the Week

“You Are The Messiah.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” (Mark 8:29).

With those four words, the Apostle Peter revealed the true identity of Jesus Christ. But he also revealed quite a bit about himself. 2,000 years later our answer to that question determines much about us. How will we live our lives? Who can we lead to Christ? Where – and in which ways – will God work through us?

As a Christian, unbelief is simply not part of the equation. Notice I didn’t say sin can’t be part of the equation (certainly we are not sinless). But refusal to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died for our sins, and was raised on the third day will keep a sinner from God. It’s hard for us to imagine there are those who do not believe, but, alas, many fall into that category. Peter did not.

By making his confession (in Matt. 16:16 he adds the words, “the Son of the living God”), Peter declares that Jesus is the promised King of Israel, one who will bring salvation to those who believe, one who will reign forever, and one who will bless the nations. The words Peter chose were important, but his confession of faith was important as well. Like Peter, many of us have made this confession verbally, but have we backed it up with action?

I do not speak of works-based salvation (your works are irrelevant compared to God’s grace). I do speak of action-based confession. Put differently, if I said to you, “We need to move these chairs out of the auditorium,” and you responded, “I agree!” I would expect you to actually help me move the chairs. If you didn’t, what good are your words, despite the fact that you confessed agreement?

As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Hopefully we would have no problem confessing that publicly, even to (or especially to) those who disagree. Jesus’ words in Matt 10:32-33 are hauntingly beautiful: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”

We believe. And as we make our confessions, we vow not only to accept Jesus into our lives, but to live like it too. We believe, and we live as 21st century disciples.

In Christ Alone,