“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
When Jesus posed this question to His disciples in Matthew 16:13, they confirmed what Jesus already knew; most people believed He was some sort of prophet.
If you asked the average non-believer that question today, some might respond Jesus was a prophet. Others would say Jesus was a good man or a revered teacher. A few would even say He was a fictitious character.
“But who do you say that I am?” Jesus went on to ask.
Peter responded, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” As Jesus points out in the next verse (Matthew 16:17), Peter didn’t come to this conclusion on his own. God revealed it to him. He opened Peter’s spiritual eyes to see Jesus as the promised Savior.
Sometimes I forget. I’m so eager to see a friend find forgiveness and eternal life in Christ, I forget that I can’t make them see things clearly. I’ll never argue someone into God’s kingdom. I’ll never debate them through heaven’s gates. I cannot, by my own efforts, persuade them Jesus is who He says He is. All I can do (as they taught me in CRU many moons ago) is “share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God.”
My part is to offer the good news, the gospel, to those I rub elbows with. I can set my mind on God’s interests rather than my own (Matthew 16:23). I can mirror Christ’s character, tell them what Jesus has done for me, give them God’s living words, obey when the Holy Spirit nudges me to speak the truth in love. And I can pray.
But only God can break down the barriers keeping a soul from repenting and seeking forgiveness. Only God can soften a hard heart. Only God can open someone’s spiritual eyes to see Christ for who He truly is… the Savior, the Messiah, the Son of God… the creator of all things, the King of kings and Lord of lords… the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Thank you for sending your sacrificial Lamb to atone for the sins of the world. Give me opportunities to tell others they can find forgiveness and peace in You. Give me the boldness and the words to speak when those opportunities come. Open eyes to see and ears to hear the good news.