Many people want to tell you who Jesus is. Today we are talking about who the Bible says Jesus is.
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Watch the video of this teaching at https://www.celllifechurch.tv/jesus-is/
Friday marked a very important anniversary in my life. On June 18, 1989, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I still remember that evening like it was yesterday. I went to a prayer meeting and church service with a friend of mine, Pastor Bud Brown. Bud had been inviting me to come for more than a year. I had already read the Bible completely through once and was starting to read it through again. I finally agreed to go with him that evening and my life changed completely.
I thought I knew who Jesus was because of what I had read. I thought I knew who Jesus was because of what others had told me about him. The reality is I met Jesus that night as I prayed and asked Him into my heart. I instantly knew the real Jesus the moment I surrendered my life to him and his will. My life has not been the same since. I had no idea of the adventure my life would be once I said, “Yes!” to Jesus’ call.
This may or may not be the first time you have heard a story or testimony like this, but it is a wonderful way to introduce today’s topic. Today’s teaching is titled “Jesus Is”.
Peter Proclaims Who Jesus Is
Let’s read Matthew 16:13-19
(13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (14) They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (15) “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” (16) Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (17) Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. (18) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
In this passage of scripture, Jesus is having a private moment with his disciples. They are having a meeting, much like the ones we have when we meet with our cell sites or small groups. Up until this point most of the disciples’ interaction with Jesus had been to observe and learn from watching him. Jesus was reaching the height of his teaching ministry and was now starting to prepare his disciples for the next part of his earthly ministry, the cross.
They were all gathered together and Jesus asked the simple question, “Who do people say I am?” Scripture tells us that many answered his question. The disciples said that they had heard people say that he was everything from John the Baptist to Elijah to Jeremiah to one of the other prophets. Think about that for a second.
The people that Jesus had been performing miracles for and been healing didn’t know who he was. The thousands of people that he fed with 5 loaves of bread and two small fish thought he was just another prophet. This isn’t unusual.
Muslims Say Jesus Is
Even Muslims today believe that Jesus lived. They think he is just another prophet.
We know a Christian missionary in Indonesia. He has shared stories with me of Muslim clerics asking him to come into their mosques and teach them about Jesus. They don’t know who Jesus is and want to know more about him. They think Jesus is just another prophet. Praise the Lord for these open doors and the leading and protection of the Holy Spirit to be able to go and share who Jesus is and that he lives today in such a place.
Jesus is not just another prophet, wise teacher. holy leader.
Our Father In Heaven Says Jesus Is
After Jesus heard the answers of who people said that he was, he asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered. I like to think he answered immediately without waiting to be called on, much like the schoolboy who is excited that he finally knows the answer to the teacher’s question.
Peter answers, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”
Jesus Is The Messiah
Peter was correct. He knew exactly who Jesus was and I believe the Holy Spirit prompted him because of his passion. Look at what Peter says. First, he says, “You are the Messiah.” Peter declares in that one simple statement that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s plan. He is our salvation. By saying Jesus is the Messiah, Peter is declaring that Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings.
Jesus Is The Son of God
He doesn’t stop there though. Peter also says Jesus is the Son of the living God. Jesus is the son of the Creator of all creation. Peter is declaring Jesus’ true family name, Son of God. Much like in Pakistan where children take their father’s name as part of their own, and in the western world where a family shares a last name through all generations.
I have traced my family name back to Wales into the 1500s. It hasn’t changed. Jesus’ family name has not changed either, and it never will.
Peter said, “You are the Messiah, and the Son of the living God”. Jesus is our savior and our path to the living God, our creator.
Jesus then blesses Peter. This is when Jesus starts calling him Peter. Jesus tells Peter that he didn’t figure this out on his own. He didn’t know this because someone else had told him or he had read it somewhere. Peter knew this because it was revealed to him by God the Father.
Our Revelation Of Who Jesus Is
We cannot learn who Jesus truly is by reading about him, or listening to someone describe him. To truly know who Jesus is we must have an encounter with him. We must allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to us exactly who Jesus is.
Jesus goes on to say that on this rock he will build his church. Jesus is not saying he is going to build his church on Peter. There are some denominations and church groups who believe this, but it is not correct.
The rock Jesus is building his church on is the knowledge of who he truly is. That truth is the rock that our faith is built on. That truth is the rock that the church is built on. The personal heart knowledge that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of the living God, is the rock that stands at the gates of Hell, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, is the truth that the church has been built on.
That is the rock we stand on, and that is the rock that Jesus is building his church on.
Apostle Paul Says Jesus Is
The Apostle Paul further explains this in Ephesians 2:19-22
(19) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, (20) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. (21) In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. (22) And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
The household Paul speaks of is the church, and its foundation is built on the truths taught by the apostles and prophets. Jesus is the chief cornerstone of this foundation.
You all have seen a building be built. The first stone laid for the foundation is the most important. It sets the location, the direction, the level, and the height of the ground floor of a building. If that first stone is not placed correctly, the whole building will be off. It will have problems and be unsafe.
Jesus is that chief foundational stone of our lives. Our lives must be built on Jesus and his truths. A life built on knowing and believing exactly who Jesus is, is a life that cannot be shaken by death, Hell, and the grave.
Jesus is the Messiah, our Savior and Lord. Jesus is the Son of the living God. And we are adopted into that family through him. We all carry the family name, that of Christian, or “of Christ”.
We encourage you to seek Jesus and ask him to reveal himself to you, just as he did to me on that night so many years ago. I remember that evening like it was yesterday.