Text: Matthew 16:13-23 | Listen to Message
Who Are You?
You are a child of God. You are a saint. You are a dwelling place of God. You are a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession.
The Bible makes some astounding statements about who you are in Jesus. However, most of us experience these truths much like we experience waves at the beach. In hearing and observing them, we find encouragement. In stepping out into them, we find restoration. In wading in even deeper, allowing them to momentarily sweep us off our feet, we find exhilaration. But, sadly, we don’t live at the beach. We live 1,000 miles from the beach in a place called reality. Reality is where we work, where we live. It’s where personal identity is a matrix of roles, interests, competencies, and personal failures. Sure, we do our best to envision these waves – these truths – in the midst of our daily grind. But, in reality, they are nothing more than a distant thought, lapping at the shoreline of our existence.
That is, until some seismic activity, some cataclysmic event, shakes reality and transforms those distant waves into Tsunami truths that reach the core of our identity. What event has the power to do this? A genuine encounter with Jesus. Once we see Him for all that He is – His holiness, His power, His grace, His love – we can finally see ourselves for who He made us to be. Our former sense of self is submerged in an ocean of grace, as each new wave lifts us higher into His presence. More importantly, we begin to perceive Jesus as the basis and preeminent manifestation of God’s love for us.
This is not to say that the experience is altogether enjoyable. Many of the ways that we have defined ourselves – reinforced through cultural narratives – will drown in the process. Peter experienced this in Matthew 16:13-23. Jesus walked him into a greater sense of identity, which demanded a death of sorts. Jesus desires to lead you down the very same. If you follow Him, you will find your true self, and, more importantly, you will find Him. Are you willing to follow?