Thursday 29 June 2017

Bible Book:

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (v. 16)

Matthew 16:13-19 Thursday 29 June 2017

Psalm: Psalm 125


Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Peter. So we havethe famous passage where Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah,and Jesus says that the Church will be founded on this rock.

Peter's declaration arises from the fundamental question: who isthis Jesus? Arguably, raising that question is the whole point ofthe Gospels. Various possible answers are offered as if it's amultiple-choice exercise. And it is Peter, prone to jumping headfirst into any situation, who has the courage as well as theinspiration to blurt out his great statement of faith in Jesus asChrist and Lord, Son of the living God. He doesn't always get itright (as Matthew 16:22-23 shows), but here he is spoton.

The 12 disciples were a motley collection of people. The divinerecruitment policy is nothing if not imaginative. It is remarkablethat the central declaration of the whole Gospel should come fromthe mouth of a fisherman. But what an encouragement this should befor those of us feeling poorly qualified to respond to the call ofGod in Christ.

For all his impetuousness, there's an air of dependability aboutPeter. Psalm 125 has a rock simile for the faithful: they are likeMount Zion itself, which cannot be moved. And, of course, thatstrength derives from one source only, the Lord.

The hymn How sweet the name of Jesus sounds surveysa wide range of images for him, including "the rock on which Ibuild". It's one of John Newton's several great hymns about thewonder of God's saving work in Christ, amazing grace indeed.

To Ponder

  • How willing are you to share insights and what you believe,perhaps at the risk of getting it wrong or receiving an adverseresponse?
  • Are you ever tempted to keep quiet because you think otherpeople are better qualified to speak for Christ? (Honestly, is thattrue - what qualifications so you actually need?)
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