The greatest gift…

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Scripture: Matthew 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.”

Observation: The crowds that watched Jesus in his daily teaching and ministry knew he was something special – like a prophet. However, Peter understood Jesus was much more than a prophet. He was the long-awaited Messiah. How did he know this? Was he smarter or more perceptive than the others? No. Verse 17 indicates it was God the Father who “revealed” this truth to Peter. This profound understanding was given to Peter as an act of grace.

Application: I can remember being a young man fresh out of college, just beginning to understand  what it meant to be a Christian. At the time, I thought of Christianity as something one did for an hour on Sunday morning, which was pleasant enough. But if I’m honest, my faith wasn’t impacting my life outside of church much. I viewed my faith as a brief respite from the “real” world. Yet over the course of one or two years the Lord revealed to me something that my intellect could not initially understand – that the ways of God are not a straightjacket intended to cramp my style, but are a pathway to genuine living as God intended. Christianity actually delivers on things the secular world can only promise: things like forgiveness, peace, joy, contentment, purpose. This one profound revelation has changed my entire life forever.

Let me ask you – have you received such a revelation? Have you come to understand that following Jesus is the only way to realize the life you’ve always longed for, but not yet found?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are indeed the author of abundant life, which you give to us as a free gift of grace. Apart from you, we can never truly find the things our hearts long for. Help us take this revelation to heart and act upon it by committing our entire lives to you. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.

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