RECAP: WHO DO YOU SAY I AM based on Matthew 16:13-20
No one really likes to be put on the spot. Some of the biggest blunders occur when the spotlight is unexpectedly thrust on another human being. We would rather someone else answer than be put on the spot ourselves! Imagine how the disciples felt. They were traveling with Jesus in the unfamiliar and uncomfortable region of Caesarea Philippi when they were asked “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” and “But what about you? Who do you say I AM?” Would we know how to answer those questions? How we answer a question reveals what we truly believe, for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. When Jesus asked those questions, he was really asking three deeper questions that resonate with us today:
1) Which voice do we listen to most? When Jesus asked for the disciples to parrot what they had heard others say, he was listening not just for the response, but for tone. The answers varied, from John the Baptist to Elijah to Jeremiah. For some in Israel, the connection to the prophets recognized Jesus as someone with authority. To others, it is even a deeper tie to the promise of the coming forerunner to the Messiah. But for others, the association with these individuals was not necessarily meant to be understood as flattering. John, Elijah, and Jeremiah were all seen and understood as troublemakers for those in power and authority. John paid for speaking for truth with his head literally. Elijah had a bounty placed upon his head by Jezebel. Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern and left for dead as the Babylonians invaded.
But the core of the question was to see how much stock the disciples had placed in the opinion of others. Did they value the crowd more than Jesus? If we value people more, we will be swayed by their opinions. The very decisions we make will be built out of making the crowd happy, not ruffling any feathers or making waves. But if we value God’s opinion most, even if it puts us out of favor with people like these prophets, we will be honored and esteemed by God.
2) What do we truly believe? Jesus then turned inward–who do YOU say I AM? He wanted to know what the disciples truly believed themselves, not what others believed about him. Peter answered correctly, that Jesus was indeed the Messiah and Son of the Living God. Jesus stated this revelation came not from flesh and blood, but from the Father in heaven. How did Peter come to receive this revelation? Because he forsook the opinion of humanity and was committed to a deep relationship with Jesus. The more we spend time with Jesus, the deeper our belief and faith grow! Belief comes from knowledge, from relationship, from investment. Are we invested in Jesus?
3) Do we live what we believe? We will live what we believe. If we believe Jesus is just a moral man, than he is a moral man. If we believe he is a teacher, then he is a teacher. But if we believe he is the savior of the world who died for our sins, our life should match that belief! Jesus developed this further when we spoke over Peter’s life. He changed his name from Simon to Peter, to the Rock, in order to show the change within Peter’s heart. He then declared that on this rock he would build his church. The rock was the confession of Peter’s belief. Jesus will build the kingdom in us as we stand strong in belief! The gates of Hades will not overcome it–not a spiritual gate nor a literal gate (Caesarea Philippi had a cave known as the gate of Hades–a pathway to the underworld). No obstacle or scheme of the enemy can overcome a true belief in Jesus that is lived out and embodied! And we also gain the ability to bind and loose, affecting spiritual power, because we believe! If we believe and live our belief, we don’t have to worry about what will happen to us, for we have the backing of the Son of the Living God!
So who do we say Jesus is?
Questions for Reflection
1) How easily influenced are you by people? Can you live your faith even when surrounded by others?
2) Who have you experienced Jesus to be? How would you answer the question?
3) Can someone look at you and tell you are a follower of Jesus? Does your living match your belief?
4) What obstacles are you currently facing? Can you believe that you will overcome through the power of the Son of the Living God?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the “I AM JESUS” series with the sermon titled, “Promised One”, based on Matthew 17:1-13. Jesus went up on the Mount of Olives and was transfigured before the disciples’ eyes. What did that truly mean? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for March 22 – 28
March 22: Romans 5:1-11 Why did Jesus need to come and die?
March 23: Romans 5:12-21 Why did Jesus need to come and die?
March 24: Hebrews 10:1-18 Why did Jesus need to come and die?
March 25: Hebrews 9:11-28 Why did Jesus need to come and die?
March 26: Revelation 5:1-14 Why did Jesus need to come and die?
March 27: Isaiah 42:1-9 What was Jesus’ purpose?
March 28: Daniel 7:1-14 How was Jesus revealed to Daniel?
This Week’s Events:
Friday, March 25–Gospel Hymn Sing Concert Benefit for the Whitmore Family, 6:30 pm
Sunday, March 27–Called Congregational Business Meeting, 12:15 pm. Doors close and attendance will be taken promptly at 12:15!!
Sunday, March 27–Instachoir rehearsal immediately after church before the CBM
April 10–Love Feast, 5:30 pm
April 16–Men’s Fellowship Chicken BBQ, 4:45 am
April 16–Easter Egg Hunt, 10 am
April 17–Easter Sunrise Service, 7 am
April 17–Easter Service, 11 am
Whitmore Family Relief Benefit Concert
We will host a Gospel Hymn Sing Concert benefit on Friday, March 25 beginning at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6 pm). We will collect a love offering for the Whitmore family. Some of the guests include Michael Hoover (Elvis), one of the Crestmans, and more!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer & Discernment
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Sandy Bennington (health)
Samantha Cooper (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Pidge Rhodes (recovery)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Norma Suter (health)
Whitmore family (various)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Tom Wilfong (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB