Formations lesson for Jan. 26: Who do you say that I am?
January 10 2003 by Robbin B. Mundy , Isaiah 61:-3; Matthew 16;13-23

Formations lesson for Jan. 26: Who do you say that I am? | Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

Friday, Jan. 10, 2003

Formations lesson for Jan. 26: Who do you say that I am?

By Robbin B. Mundy Isaiah 61:-3; Matthew 16;13-23

How do you know what you believe about God? Do you know things about God or do you know God? These passages lead us to look deeper into our understanding, our serving, and our role in the future. We may find that we have gained a lot of knowledge, but put little of it to good use.

Isaiah 61:1-3

These verses do not necessarily describe a "call to servanthood", but rather they seem to define the call. Though "being called" is assumed in this passage, "accepting the call" implies a certain level of responsibility. All prophets can claim a divine call, but their mission discloses a genuine call.

Isaiah described a mission where God does the initiating and God gets the glory. The one who is called does not seek self-gain. The one who is called listens only to the "caller" and tunes out those who otherwise try to direct his or her path.

Matthew 16:13-23

Jesus is teaching in this text. He asked His disciples, who knew Him better than any of the other followers, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" Peter's response represented the deeper meaning Jesus was seeking: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

Jesus was beginning to prepare the 12 for His final days with them. The cross was eminent. However, in order for His students to learn all they could and get to the "other side," He needed to make sure the foundation was solidly in place.

Peter got it! Jesus seized the moment and declared the confession solid - as solid as a rock.

Theologians have debated whether Peter was speaking for all the disciples or for himself alone. If he was speaking for himself, Peter declared Jesus to be the Messiah. His claim was far more than a head decision or just a heart decision - it was a decision of both.

Peter had been a good student; he had learned from a master teacher. But until the learned material was internalized and put into practice, it was useless knowledge.

Jesus recognized that Peter had come a long way in his thinking; that he had grabbed hold of the truth and had allowed the truth to permeate his being.

The Messiah was more than the human image of Jesus; the Messiah was "the Son of the living God." Jesus' response to Peter was to declare that on "that way of thinking" he would build the church, a future that would outlive all the disciples.

Like many believers, Peter accepted Jesus up to this point, but rejected the idea that the cross was necessary. Peter took Jesus aside and said, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you."

The necessity of it was beyond his reach. Jesus, being a wise teacher, anticipated the struggle. The information was hard to share and hard to teach, He knew it would be hard to comprehend. It would require some time.

If Peter's response to Jesus' question was on behalf of all the disciples, then we have to add more to our thinking. We must acknowledge that head and heart thinking carries with it not only responsibility for us as individuals, but it also suggests a responsibility to establish foundational thinking - living and doing for "all" who call Jesus, Lord.

Each of us is responsible for living and serving in a way that builds up the church - followers of Christ.

Furthermore, I believe that before we get too burdened by the weight of responsibility, we must see that there are possibilities. The word "responsibility" feels heavy, but the word "possibility" feels light and airy, like a fresh breeze. I believe Peter and the other disciples were catching on to the responsibility of the call as well as the possibilities for the future.

Conclusion

"Who do you say that I am?" How do you answer that question? How do you respond to it as a class, as a church? Learn from Peter; go deeper into your thinking.

Teacher, do your students gain knowledge that is stored up as information? Or, do you guide their thinking, solidify their foundation, and then lead them to engage in the possibilities of fulfilling their individual and corporate calling? What are the possibilities?

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1/10/2003 12:00:00 AM by Robbin B. Mundy , Isaiah 61:-3; Matthew 16;13-23 | with 0 comments
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