Saturday 02 November 2019

Bible Book:

Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ (v. 16)

Matthew 16:13-27 Saturday 2 November 2019

Psalm: Psalm 93


This is an important moment for Peter as it is the first time he expresses the view that Jesus is the Messiah. But it’s difficult to be sure what exactly he means by that. There was a variety of beliefs in first century Judaism about what the Messiah would be like. Some expected a king from the line of David, others a conqueror, and others a judge. The wide ranging views about what it meant to be a ‘Messiah’ means it is still not clear exactly who Peter thought Jesus was.

Jesus tells Peter not to tell anyone that he is the Messiah. Perhaps it is the very nature of the word ‘Messiah’ that causes difficulties. After all, the word meant different things to different people. As soon as a person learnt that Jesus was the Messiah they would immediately make an assumption about Jesus’ role of earth. Even Peter has not yet grasped the suffering that Jesus will take upon himself.

By steering clear of presumptions Jesus was able to demonstrate a different kind of Messiah. Not a mighty king powerfully ushering in the end of time, but as a suffering servant who was born to die for his people. Jesus surprised people throughout his ministry on earth and repeatedly challenged people’s assumptions.

As people who have learned of Jesus after he returned to heaven, it can be easy to assume that we have the whole picture. That we understand God’s plan through Jesus. But God continues to surprise us, pushing us beyond our comfort zones to see the world in a different way. Perhaps we should reflect on our own language we use to describe God and question whether we are putting God in a box. What new understanding might God want to teach us today?


To Ponder:

  • What does it mean to you for Jesus to be the Messiah?
  • What words/ titles do you use to describe God and why?
  • How has God surprised you?
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