Mathews chapter 16 has an interesting and a much discussed theme and one which I would like to share albeit with a twist.
Let’s read the passage first, Mathews 16:13-19, “ When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus asked two questions to his disciples and both the questions form the premise of our discussion today.
But here is the twist, instead of meditating on what men said about Jesus or what Peter said about him we will meditate on what the world says about ‘you’ and what God says about you.
What do men say about you?
Many a times we strive to have a name amongst the people we live with, our family, our friends, our colleagues, our Church, etc but how often would we want those names to be made public!
Bible tells us that Joseph was nicknamed ‘a dreamer’ by his brothers, Isaac named his younger son ‘Jacob’ which means ‘leg puller’ in one translation! Jabez got this name from his mother because she bore him with sorrow. As per David’s eldest brother Eliab, David was full of pride and naughtiness in his heart. Peter was known as an uneducated fisherman. As per Moses himself, he was a man who was ‘slow of speech and of a slow tongue’!
But none of these men let that ‘tag’ affect the way they lived their lives and hence are known for contrary reasons in the Bible.
Joseph became the second in command of Egypt, Jacob was given a new name ‘Israel’, Jabez’s prayer is one of the most popular prayers in the Bible, David became a mighty King and God used Moses not only to bring the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt but also gave him the Ten Commandments!
Just ponder for a minute about what does your family and friends say about you!
Are you known to be a problem child, or an irresponsible person, someone who only cares about himself or herself, someone who is in news for all the wrong reasons, someone who can’t do anything right, someone on whom people have given up?
If you are then I have some life changing news for you…start looking, realizing and accepting the answer to the second question.
Who does the Bible say you are?
The opinion of people around you may change for better or for worse over a period of time but what the Bible says about those who believe in Jesus can never change.
Here is what the Bible says about you:
1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”
Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”
Isaiah 49:16, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
Zechariah 2:8b, “for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”
I can go on and on about how madly God is in love with you and me but would pause here and encourage you to read the Bible and know more about your true identity in God.
You may be thinking how can all this be true for me? How can what Bible says about me change what people say now about me?
I have some good news for you, take the first step, turn your life over to Jesus, invite Him into your life, confess your sins and shortcomings in front of Him and then surrender your life to Him and He will restore, rebuild, renew all the areas of your life.
You will see the change happening within you and pretty soon, all around you would see that change and acknowledge it.
Take the first step, trust me you will not regret it!
Would like to leave you with the lyrics of one of my all time favorite songs with a prayer that this would encourage you!
“Whose report will you believe
We shall believe the report of the Lord
For His report says I am healed
His report says I am filled
His report says I am free
His report says victory!
God Bless You!
Your Brother in Christ