Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013 - If Jesus were to ask you the question he asked the disciples, what would your response be?

To read the texts click on the texts: Num 20:1-13; Mt 16:13-23

The phrase “from that time Jesus began” is found twice in the Gospel of Matthew once in 4:17 and the second time in 16:21. The latter verse is part of our text for today. Some divide the Gospel into three parts, taking this phrase as the one which points to this division. In this division, the first part is from 1:1 – 4:16, the second from 4:17 – 16:20 and the third from 16:21 – 28:20. Our text for today, however includes an earlier pericope termed usually as “Peter’s Confession” (16:13-20). The question of Jesus concerning his identity is not because he wanted to be informed about people’s opinion of him, but to draw a contrast between people’s answers and the answer of the disciples. Matthew is the only evangelist who adds Jeremiah to the answers of the people. Some think that Matthew has done so because of Jeremiah’s association with the fall of Jerusalem. Others think that Jeremiah is mentioned because of his prophecy of the new covenant. After hearing through the disciples what the people have to say about his identity, Jesus asks the disciples the same question. The “you” is plural and therefore addressed to all disciples. It is also emphatic. Simon Peter answers on behalf of the group. Matthew adds “the Son of the living God” to Mark’s “Christ”. Only in Matthew does Jesus respond directly to Peter. Peter is not blessed because of a personal achievement, but because of the gift he received from God. Jesus names Peter as rock, the one who holds the keys and the one who binds and looses. Rock here stands for foundation, and though Peter is the foundation, Jesus is the builder. The holder of keys was one who had authority to teach and the one who binds and looses is the one who had authority to interpret authoritatively. The reason for ordering them to tell no one is to reinforce the idea that the community founded by Jesus is distinct from Israel who rejected Jesus.

The second part of the text, is the first of the three (some see Mt 26:2 as a fourth passion and resurrection prediction) passion and resurrection predictions. Peter’s response to this is to “rebuke” Jesus. However, in Matthew, Peter’s response is not as harsh as in Mark because of the use of “Lord” by Peter. Jesus’ counter response to Peter is not as harsh as in Mark, because Jesus does not in turn “rebuke” Peter. Instead, in Matthew, Jesus calls Peter to a newer and deeper understanding of the meaning of discipleship. Peter’s understanding is still on the human level, Jesus invites him to go beyond and further.



Many of us would like to see God as someone who can do all things and be always in control of every situation. However, our God as revealed in Jesus is a God who lets go of not only his divinity but also his humanity. He becomes totally selfless and disponable, at the service of the whole of humanity. If we are to imitate such a God and be disciples of his son, we need to do the same. 

1 comment:

  1. SAVED LIKE THE PARALYTIC?

    The proponents of "FAITH ONLY" salvation like to present the paralytic as an example of one who had his sins forgiven without being baptized in water. Their position is, since Jesus forgave the paralytic without being immersed in water; so then, baptism is not essential, for those living today, in order to have sins forgiven.

    PARALYTIC SALVATION: Luke 5:18-20 And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and set him him down in front of Him. 19 But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus . 20 Seeing their faith , He said , "Friend, your sins are forgiven."

    PARALYTIC SALVATION: Jesus forgave his sin because of the faith of friends.

    Can men today be saved like the paralytic? No, they cannot!

    The paralytic was saved without FAITH.
    The paralytic was saved without REPENTANCE.
    The paralytic was saved without CONFESSING Jesus as the Son of God.
    The paralytic was saved without being BAPTIZED.
    The paralytic was saved without BELIEVING that God raised Jesus from the dead.
    The paralytic was saved without CONFESSING Jesus as Lord and Christ.

    THE PARALYTIC PLAN OF SALVATION WAS- THE FAITH OF FRIENDS.

    The paralytic was saved before the New Covenant was in force. Jesus had to die before the New Covenant was available.

    Men today have to meet the terms of the New Agreement, that is the New Covenant.

    NEW COVENANT: Hebrews 9:15-17 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For were a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who lives made it.

    The apostle Peter told all men how to be saved under the New Covenant. (Acts 2:22-41) A.D. 33 The Day of Pentecost.

    New Covenant terms of pardon.
    FAITH: John 3:16
    REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Luke 24:47
    CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37
    BAPTISM: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, Colossians 2:12-13, Titus 3:5, John 3:5, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-7

    Was the paralytic saved? Yes, so was the thief on the cross, Enoch, Abraham, and many others before the New Covenant was in force, however, it was the blood of Jesus that washed away the sins of those who died under the Old Covenant.

    IF MEN TODAY CAN HAVE THEIR SIN FORGIVEN LIKE THE PARALYTIC-----THEN THEY CAN BE SAVED WITH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. HE WAS SAVED BECAUSE OF THE FAITH OF FRIENDS!


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