Centered On Christ
The place in scripture where I would most like to place myself occurs
in this text. It would be fun to
answer Christ when He asked, "who do you say that I am?" But you and I
have opportunities every day to speak
up for Christ. Certainly we need to be Centered On Christ.
1. Centered On
Christ: Focused On The . . Confirmation Of Christ. 16:13-15
A. Christ Confirmed In This . . City. 16:13
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His
disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of
B. Christ Confirmed In This . .
14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, Jeremiah orone of the prophets."
C. Christ Confirmed In This . .
15 "But you," He asked them, "who do you say that I am?"
I think the Lord
deliberately took His disciples to this city, In a city dedicated to
Caesar Jesus wants His
disciples to recognize that His Kingdom exceeds all the kingdoms of the
world. Rome controlled the world at
this time but the rule of Jesus exceeds the control of Caesar. The
community also sported a temple to the
goddess Pan, and Jesus wanted His disciples to identify His Messiahship
over the religions of the world. The
community of men in which people named Christ would be a compliment to
most, but Christ must be exalted
above all of these prophets mentioned. Jesus gave a specific
confrontation, "who do you say that I am?" What
is your personal answer to that question?
2. Centered On
Christ: Focused On The . . Confession Of Christ. 16:16-20
A. The . . Boldness Of The Confession Made By
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living
B. The . . Blessing Of The
Confession Made By
17 And Jesus responded, "Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because
flesh and blood did not reveal this to you,
but My Father in heaven.
C. The . . Building Of The
Confession Made By
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock
I will build My church, and the forces of
Hades will not overpower it.
D. The . . Binding and Loosening Of The
Made By Simon. 16:19-20
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you
bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and
whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven." 20
And He gave the disciples orders to tell no one that He was the Messiah.
Simon Peter gave a
bold confession of Christ. My thirteen year old grandson participated
in "See You At
The Pole," and only three other students participated. Some other
students threw mulch at these children. Some back away from such a
stand, but Christ blesses it. The church is built when people confess
Lord. It is not built on a man but on Christ and the confession of Him.
Through the confession of Christ people
can be loosed from the power of sin. Failure to confess Christ
continues a binding to sin.
3. Centered On
Christ: Focused On The . . Cross Of Christ. 16:21-23
A. The . . Revelation About The Cross Of
21 From then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must
go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from
the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third
B. The . . Rebuke About The Cross
Of Christ from
22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, "Oh no, Lord!
This will never happen to You!"
C. The . . Rebuke About The Cross
Of Christ From
23 But He turned and told Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an
offense to Me because you're not thinking
about God's concerns, but man's."
received a privileged revelation about the Lord's suffering, cross, and
resurrection. However they did not understand until after the events
took place. From our perspective it seems
very strange that Simon would receive a revelation from God, and then
take Jesus aside and follow a prompting
from Satan. The Lord then rebuked him. Jesus' rebuke focused on Simon's
earthly thought as opposed to his
previous heavenly thought.
4. Centered On
Christ: Focused On The . . Children Of Christ. 16:24-28
A. The . . Denial Demanded From The Children Of
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wants to come with Me,
he must deny himself, take up his cross, and
follow Me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but
whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.
B. The . . Decision Discussed For
The Children Of
26 What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his
life? Or what will a man give in exchange for
C. The . . Deference Declared For
The Children Of
27 For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the
glory of His Father, and then He will reward
each according to what he has done. 28 I assure you: There are some standing
here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in
When we center our
lives on Christ He tells us we must deny self. One prominent
commentator says that
means to deny self to self. The more you think about that statement the
more sense it makes. The Lord asked a
question of eternal consequences of our decisions, and life pursuits.
If we make decisions guided by Him, His
eternal deference to us will present rewards according to the works we
did as directed by Him. No one can do
"good works" unless they first know the Lord and follow His directions.
The most likely explanation to verse
28 takes place at the transfiguration. They were certainly Centered
On Christ! Amen? Amen!