When Peter confessed that Jesus is ‘The Christ, The Son of The Living God’, He had been with Jesus for some time. He had the opportunity to see Jesus in many contexts and at many angles. The closer I have looked at Jesus, the more sure I have become in who He is…I believe that was also true for Peter and can be true for you. To get the context of Peter’s Confession you can use these two links to read it:
Mark 8:27-30 - http://www.esvbible.org/Mark%208%3A27-30/
Matthew 16:13-20 - http://www.esvbible.org/Matthew%2016%3A13-20/
To help illustrate my thinking I want to show you three different pictures of my vacation to Devil’s Tower (yes, preachers do go there too). I had heard that Devil’s Tower was an amazing sight to behold. Many other people whom I trust had told me this and I figured they were being honest. Likewise, as a young person, I had been told by people that cared for me that Jesus was a loving God who had me in mind in Creation and in Redemption. When Peter was first told about Jesus it was similar. John The Baptist told him ‘Look, there is The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’. Peter had been following John and had trusted him…so from a distance He saw Jesus and began to come closer.
Yesterday, I began traveling towards Devil’s Tower. From miles away, I got my first glance and here is what I saw.
It was a spectacular sight. I began to see that all the people who had told me about it were right. However, I was still at a distance. The smoke in the area limited my view and made me want to get closer. As a young person, the more I remember hearing my pastor read verses like John 3:16 and those words were like my first glimpse at The Lord that I had heard so much about. If He was truly this good then I wanted to get closer. For Peter, there was a day were He saw Jesus from a distance. Peter had been fishing (Mark 1:16-20) and Jesus was coming to Him and began to speak to him and call him to follow Jesus into a new life. Peter hadn’t seen much close up but what he had seen caused him to drop his nets and go.
As I went closer to Devil’s Tower my view changed. My family and I were amazed when we got to this vantage point:
New details opened up. We were awestruck. We saw new details that we wouldn’t have known about from what we had been told and that I couldn’t make out from the distance of the first picture. Just like when I began to draw closer to Jesus as a young man…I liked what I saw and I wouldn’t to be closer…closer to God…closer to Truth…closer to Life. Peter had seen Jesus call him to follow Him but He then got closer and saw Jesus do amazing miracles like feeding thousands and healing the sick. The closer he got to Jesus, the surer he was about the identity of this man that John had called The Lamb of God.
Finally, my view of Devil’s Tower become so close that I saw this:
Look at the detail. Things that I could only imagine from my first view were now confirmed. My eyewitness account allows me to now tell you about it. Today, I have been walking closer to Jesus for about 35 years from the time that I first really heard about Him. I still want to get closer but my view has confirmed my belief. The closer I have looked, the more I am sure. Jesus is Creator, Savior, Friend of Sinners. I say this is who Jesus is because I have looked from many angles and have confirmed my faith. Peter, when He made his declaration of who Jesus was, had been walking with Jesus for a few years. He had become so close to Jesus that He was ready to declare it to the world.
Have you heard about Jesus and been unsure about stepping close enough to see for yourself? Have you begun to take steps and seen enough to make your decision on who Jesus is?
For more devotional thoughts you can visit www.windcitychurch.org/blog/ . We meet for worship at 3:16pm each Sunday at The Link at 353 W. A Street in downtown Casper. Be Our Guest on Sunday or at one of our Missional Communities that meet at various times and locations around the Casper Metro Area.