Finding Compassion in Matthew 16
In Matthew 16, Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ. The lesson is that we need to know Him for ourselves. It’s not enough for us to hear about Him, we have to have a personal relationship with the Son of the Most High God.
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Chapter 16 – Do You Know the Christ?
· Remember the leaven in Leviticus? Well here it is again: beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.
Their doctrine wasn’t right and would lead many people down the wrong path.
· It was in this chapter that Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ. The lesson is that we need to know Him for ourselves. It’s not enough for us to hear about Him, we have to have a personal relationship with the Son of the Most High God.
We call Him Jesus Christ, but He is actually Jesus the Christ meaning anointed one or Messiah. In this chapter, the disciples learn that they have to know what the teachings of God for themselves, how else will they be able to recognize false teachings?
Within a few short years, the disciples would see the destructiveness of false teachers played out in the church. They witnessed firsthand how easily people can be led astray when they don’t have a foundation built on Christ.
In His compassion for the disciples, and for us thousands of years later, Jesus implores His people to get into an intimate relationship with Him. The two questions asked to the disciples are still important today:
· Who do men say He is?
· Who do you say He is?
Men have always made claims about the Christ. They have said He’s not the Son of God. They have said He’s “just a prophet”. They will continue to do so until He returns. And while we need to have some awareness of what people are saying, it’s infinitely more important for us to know who He truly is.
It is that intimate knowledge of God that will help to take up our cross and follow Him. It’s what we know about God that will help us when the hard times come.
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We get that knowledge of God when we spend time not only reading but studying and digging into His word. Over time our head knowledge becomes heart knowledge. The more our hearts connect to His, the closer we draw to Him and the more we want to serve Him. Jesus had compassion for us because He gave us so many opportunities to know Him.
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He could have given up after the first few attempts but He didn’t. He kept trying to show us the plan of salvation. He kept trying to reveal the love that God the Father has for all humanity. He still does that today.
Do you know Jesus Christ? Have you accepted Him as Savior and Lord of your life?
Father, I ask You to reveal Yourself to me today. I want to know You. I want to be connected to You and be called Your child. Forgive me where I have sinned against You and wash in the righteousness of Your Son Jesus. In Your name, I pray. Amen.