Let me begin by asking you a question. If Jesus were to ask, “Who do YOU say that I am?” how would you answer? It would be easy to repeat Peter’s answer found in Matthew 16. We too could say, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and that would be a good answer. It was a good answer in Peter’s day, and it is still a good answer today.
But would we just be mouthing the words — reciting Peter’s words from memory without knowing what they meant. If we were to say, “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” what would that mean to us?
Let’s first ask what it meant for those first disciples — what it meant for Peter.
When Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” he didn’t completely understand the full meaning of those words. Peter thought the Messiah would recruit an army and re-establish Israel as a superpower. That’s what he meant by Messiah. Likewise, I’m not sure he fully grasped what he meant when he said that Jesus was the Son of God.
But after Peter said that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus began telling His disciples what that really meant. He told His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem, where the religious leaders were going to kill Him. What did Peter think about that? Peter said, “God forbid it, Lord.” But Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, “You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
Then Jesus called the disciples to take up their cross and follow Him. If we really believe that Jesus is the Messiah, that’s where we end up — taking up our crosses and following Him — living sacrificially for the sake of the kingdom of God.
Those first disciples all came to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Some of them, like Peter, would die for their faith. Some of them, like Thomas, would become missionaries to other lands. Still others, like Phillip and Bartholomew, would serve quietly in the background.
I like that. I like knowing that some of Jesus’ original disciples just served quietly in the background. Every church has a number of people who serve faithfully but quietly. I don’t know what we would do without them.
Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God? Do you believe that He came to save the world? If so, He will call you to serve — maybe dangerously — maybe uncomfortably — maybe quietly. If you will obey your call, not someone else’s call, but yours, you can be sure that your life will be a blessing to many, that you will contribute to the building of the kingdom of God, and that you will have a special place in the kingdom of God both now and forevermore.