This week is very special to Jews, it holds the The feast of Booths, one of the three mandatory Jewish feasts, now it is called Sukkot on calendars. During this time Jesus Christ went to the Temple-grounds In Jerusalem and began to teach openly as recorded in John 7:1-19, during this feast Jesus went to meet his enemies, question their motives and force them to admit they thought he had a demon. This led to the achievement of Christ establishing the Church and today, God still lets the Jews hold this feast to remind the world, who delivered them out of Egypt, while living in booths. In ancient times the Hebrews wandered through the desert, in a large camp, living in booths or tents, while God was leading them during the life of Moses, and they finally were taken to the promised land, and so Israel remains to this day, begrudged a place to rule, beaten but not obliterated, celebrating their past, while we as Christians are encouraged by God in Jesus Christ to live as pilgrims, camping out, this world is not our home, it is still our responsibility to let people know what God has done and is doing.
When Jesus talked to his disciples in Matthew 16:13-23, he wanted them to tell him what they thought of him, and what they understood the world was saying about him. It was Peter who admitted his convictions, calling Jesus the Christ, the son of the living God, then Jesus pronounced to Peter, “Blessed are you…..Flesh & Blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in Heaven”. Flesh & Blood refers to any human being, even Peter himself could not have figured this out, this revelation was a fact that originated from the Father’s Spirit. Why would this make Peter “Blessed”? The revelation means “to make known as in a lid opened to show what is inside”, So Peter simply had the divine identity of Jesus shown to him by the Father, it had been there all along, now Peter has a decision to make; what will he do with this knowledge. He is blessed (happy) to have it, but what will he do with it? Jesus then calls Simon son of Jonah, the “rock”, meaning a stone, and that Jesus would build his church on The Bedrock or Strata, referring to Himself, the son of the living God. The next thing Jesus calls Peter is satan, which must have come as a shock, it simply means enemy in v23. So Peter was given a beautiful revelation, which he made a mistake with. Peter took this happiness and knowledge and powerful position, holding the keys to the Kingdom and started thinking and acting like it was earthly or worldly, to be shown physically and protect Jesus from being hurt, humiliated and sacrificed. We should learn from his mistake and grow spiritually when we are blessed as a Christian. We should not look for physical blessings, but spiritual ones.
Christians that are disciples of Jesus are the Church, this is a truth which God is concerned about making known to the world Here are three facts God wants people to know.
1. Who is Jesus, God the Word that became flesh which suffered, died, was buried & raised for you.
2. Who am I. A sinner redeemed & growing. He wants us to tell the world that we know we are redeemed by the blood of Christ, for there can be no other logical reason for Jesus dying for you and me, read, 1st Peter 1:17-19. We are living stones being built up together for a dwelling place, where God’s Spirit of Christ lives in human hearts, redeemed & made holy.
3. Who is building the Church. Jesus is The Rock (Strata or bedrock) which is stronger than death. See this in 1st Corinthians 3:11 & 10:4, Matthew 7:25. The power of Christ’s message is at work in the world, His Spirit uses the New Testament to make sinful humans into forgiven saints, growing the fruit of God’s Spirit, blessing the world with love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
Who do you think Jesus is? Your answer affects who you really are!