Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, a predominately Gentile area, located some 25 miles north of Bethsaida where Jesus had just healed the blind man, (Mark 8:22-26). Here is where Jesus asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” They answered, “Some say that thou art John the Baptist, some say Elias; and others say Jeremias or one of the prophets”. Then Jesus asked His disciples, “But whom say ye that I am?” Their spoke man Simon answered and said, “Thou art the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the Living God”, (Matthew 16:13-16). Jesus didn’t ask this question, “Do you have any idea who I am?” to throw His weight around, or because He wasn’t sure of His identity, rather He asked the question to help His disciples come to the right knowledge.
Today our lives continue to be filled with questions, relevant or irrelevant, some will have answers but many others are unanswerable. Some of the questions are very mundane and routine. For example, people may be asking questions such as, “Who is TB Joshua?”, “Is TB Joshua human?”, “Are there angels in SCOAN”, “What food does TB Joshua eat”, “Are these miracles real?” etc. Other questions may be helpful and very relevant, “Can you arrange for me to see TB Joshua please?”, “When does SCOAN have its next prayer line service that I can attend?”, “Will God forgive my many sins?”, “Is it true that Jesus is the Son of God? etc.
Jesus responded to Simon and said unto him, “Blessed art thou, Simon son of Jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, (Matthew 16:17-19). A correct answer to every question earns a lot of credit points whereas inability to come to the right answers is a failure with all its consequences. Simon got it right and the foundation to build the Church, got a new prophetic name as Peter, the keys to open and to lose, with open access to heaven.
Everyone needs to know whom Jesus is and accept and worship Him based on a true conviction. Even in Jesus’ time, not every voice in that day was lifted against Him. Some people knew Who He was and proclaimed Him openly. For instance, John the Baptist got it right, (John 1:29-34), the Angels got it right, (Luke 2:9-14), the old man Simeon got it right, (Luke 2:25-35), old Mama Anna got it right, (Luke 2:36-38), the dying thief got it right, (Luke 23:42), the Roman Centurion got it right (Mark 15:39), the blind man got it right, (John 9:38), the crowds outside Jerusalem got it right, (John 12:1), and even the demons got it right, (Mark 5:7). What are people saying about Jesus in our day? Or what are you saying about this Jesus, Who is He to you?
Merry Christmas. Emmanuel
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.