Unwrapping the Truth
I. The Rumors
Some say that thou art John the Baptist.
Really? They were seen together on multiple occasions.
Elias? Jeremiah? Or one of the prophets…
Illustration: Luke 16
- 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
- 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
- 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Here was a group of people that thought that Jesus was one of those prophets come back from the dead.
They still didn’t listen. They still didn’t follow him. They still didn’t believe.
II. The Revelation
Jesus asked the disciples, “But whom say ye that I am?”
It goes without saying, that our perspective of Christ should be different from that of the world.
Jesus asked them, “Whom do men say that I am…” then he asked, “But whom say YE that I am?”
- 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
- 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
- 17 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.
NOTE: Jesus realized that this was something that man cannot convince people of.
Trust me – I’ve tried!
Getting people to understand who Jesus is takes a supernatural enlightening of God.
The essence of the gospel is referred to as a “mystery” multiple times in the Bible.
The word “mystery” is used no less than 22 times in the New Testament in reference to the hidden things of the gospel.
- Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
- 10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
- 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
III. The Results
There were three things that Jesus conveyed to Peter as a result of his statement of faith.
- Matthew 16:18 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.
This is the first time the word “church” appears in the Bible.
Jesus for the first time unveiled his plan for building a church.
Peter was thinking about a kingdom; an earthly kingdom.
Jesus explained his earthly mission; to build a church.
Not just a church, but one that was invincible to the “gates of hell”.
Gates in the Bible speak of power, authority and government.
The leaders and influential people sat in the gates.
A city without gates was either a destroyed city or an ineffective, vulnerable city.
Jesus prophesied that he would build a church that was superior to the power, influence and authority of hell.
- Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
Peter does not grant access to Heaven.
Jokes about Peter at the gate comes from this verse.
JOKE: A man got to the pearly gates and Peter told him if he could spell LOVE that he could get in. So he did.
Then Peter asked him to watch the gate for a few minutes that he had to go do a headcount. While Peter was gone, the man’s ex-wife came up to the gate. She asked to get in. He told her sure, but first, she had to spell CZECHOSLOVAKIA.
Illustration: Peter was giving the gospel to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8.
- 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
- 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
- 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Peter was given the keys to the kingdom, meaning he was not just given access, but there was an element of stewardship with this action.
God allowed Peter to be instrumental in “opening the door of faith”.
- To the Jews in Acts 2
- To the Samaritans in Acts 8:14-25
- To the Gentiles in Acts 10 (house of Cornelius)
- To the rest of the Gentile world – Acts 14:27 “…how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
- 19b …and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
NOTE: Go to Matthew 18:18, 19
Conclusion: I want to stress this morning the importance of knowing who Jesus really is.
To some, he’s just a baby in a manger.
To some, he was a good man that went around performing miracles.
To some, he was the victim of circumstances that ultimately got Him crucified by the Roman government.
But it is imperative this morning that ye understand that though all those things are true, that is not the true essence of who Jesus is.
It is important that not flesh and blood reveal it unto you, but that the Father which is in heaven reveal unto you just who Jesus really is.