Who Do You Say I Am?
Matthew 16:15-18 The Passion Translation (TPT)
But you—who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked.Simon Peter spoke up and said, “You are the Anointed One, the Son of the living God!”Jesus replied, “You are favoured and privileged Simeon, son of Jonah. For you didn’t discover this on your own, but my Father in heaven has supernaturally revealed it to you. I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this truth of who I am will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church—my legislative assembly, and the power of deathwill not be able to overpower it!
There is so much which speaks to us in these words of Jesus. I am struck by the order of the questions. Jesus wanted to know who people said He was, then who Peter said He was and following that Peter was revealed through a new name, speaking to his new, true identity which came as a result of revelation from the Holy Spirit. We don’t know who we are until we know who Christ is, specifically who He is to us and that can only come by Holy Spirit revealing truth to our spirits. The Holy Spirit is essential to our unfolding identities as He changes us from glory to glory.
The person of Christ that we understand becomes that part of Christ which is reality to us and we will have faith for that. Muslims believe in Jesus the Prophet – yes He was. They have an understanding of Him as that and they have something to say about Him which is true, but not the Truth. Atheists may understand Him to possibly be a good man. But Christians – the name gives it away – have a different understanding based on a different reality: Christ in US. We understand Him to be just what Peter said ‘The Christ’. Not revealed through human understanding but by the Holy Spirit.
How about today? How is the revelation of Christ manifest in our lives? Is it a long ago revelation which remains? Or is it an unfolding revelation which has application into the different aspects of our life, in times and seasons. Our revelation is of a PERSON, who has a personal and intimate relationship with us. Our relationship with Him will be different from everyone else because it is based on our walk with Him and His involvement in the personal details of our life. It is a revelation of CHRIST, but also of the Father John 14:9 – He who has seen me has seen the Father; and it is a revelation of the person of the Holy Spirit.
The children of Israel had lots of names to describe God and each name revealed a different aspect of His character. Who we say God is to us will be our testimony and consequently our faith.
We also have revelation about other people, by the Holy Spirit, which can speak to their hearts and minds and transform them. The power of the Holy Spirit (Christ in us) can be released over individual lives, communities and cities as we say who we/they are!
Who we say someone is, how we ‘name’ them and what we say about them is very important. Even if they are not present what comes out of our mouth, our testimony, is life giving – or NOT!
God changed people’s names and the name change reflected who they were going to be in the future, in God’s plan and purpose for their lives. Abram (high father) to Abraham (father of many), Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (having power with God).
What we declare over others, by revelation of the Holy Spirit, speaks to that person’s understanding of who they are called to be, not just in their own minds but as part of the Body of Christ. We are meant to build one another up, encourage one another, speak words of life which empower and release them to be who God has called them to be.
Prophetic revelation, words of life revealed by the Spirit of God, are meant to bring change in line with the will and purpose of God. A word from God is truth whether or not we receive it. God wants us to have an unfolding revelation of who He is and also who we are in Him and to Him. That is individually and corporately.
This church has a unique identity as a corporate body of little Christs among the wider body of Christ on earth and in heaven. Just as all the tribes of Israel had a unique purpose and geographical location, so do you. What you say about who you are is very important as it will shape who you become. You need to say what God says about you – individually and corporately. Who do you say you are?
Jesus WAS the Christ before it was revealed to Peter. But when Peter received and declared it something eternal happened and the revelation was the foundation of the church. It came into being by the speaking of the word.
Just like all creation came into being by God’s word. God had given authority on earth to Adam and Eve and they had the power and authority to name created beings.
Mankind has authority on earth but the sons and daughters of God have the authority of heaven as well as on earth. Jesus gave the disciples authority to do signs, wonders and miracles – before the Holy Spirit was given.
Christ ascended and sent the Holy Spirit as the person of God in us and that means we carry that authority. We have a responsibility to administer that authority which means doing what Jesus did as He did it: only what He heard/saw the Father doing. God’s will, being sanctified, not doing things in our own strength and ability but in His.
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (1 Corinthians 2:11-14 )
Why am I saying this?
Because I sense the Lord is asking you some questions. Who do you say He is for you right now? Is He your healer? The restorer? The renewer? The sanctifier?
He will be different things at different times to us individually and corporately. Just as we are different things to one another? I am a teacher, preacher, wife, daughter, mother, grandmother… and while I am the same person I reveal myself differently according to my relationship and according to the need of the time.
Just as people can know us differently, depending on the relationship we have, so will it be with our personal relationship with Christ. However, we can be too satisfied with the part of God that we know and miss developing our relationship further.
The Lord wants to draw very close to you right now and speak to you about how unique you are; to give you confidence to believe Him and become who He has called you to be – unique, different and having a part to play in the wider purposes for His church.
You are not who you were 40 years ago, 30, 20, 10 even one year ago. You have been through fire over the past few years and you have been changed to another degree of glory as a result.
It’s time to open your individual and corporate ears to hear the new things the Lord wants to speak to you. Your history is not your destiny. There is a fresh and new revelation but it is not through prophets speaking it over you, it is about you corporately hearing and responding through corporate prophetic revelation. Who does He say you are today? Who do you say you are? Are you in agreement? Faith is believing God. The power is in the agreement.
I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where 2 or 3 come together IN MY NAME, there I am with them. (Matthew 18:19/) Let us agree together.
Lord open my eyes that I may see you afresh today; to know you differently as you reveal yourself in a new way to who I am today; change me to the new glory you have for me. Just as every cell in my physical body will be completely changed over the years, so I embrace your spiritual transformation as I come into your Presence and seek your face. I repent of any way I have been complacent and I ask you would help me wake up and shake up to the glorious and ongoing transformation you want to make in my life. For your glory and my good I thank you. Amen.