Gospel / Matthew 16:13-20:
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Many of us tend to embark upon lifelong journies to try to figure-out God’s plans for us. We map things out, read Scripture, attend Faith Groups and retreats, etc. We figure, “where there is a will, there is a way”. As Christian men, we spend countless hours working at learning just who we are. While all of this effort is fantastic, it is unnecessary in determining God’s plan for us. God’s plan is His plan. Jeremiah needed to be reminded of this directly from God. “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'” Jeremiah 29:11 He made our plans before we were even conceived. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 Jeremiah, like us, was searching for meaning and direction and, because he honored the Lord, he was granted this access. While we continue to build our Spiritual muscle and fortitude based on the Truth, we should not let that distract us in just simply trusting in the Lord. We need to let Him lead us and follow that lead even when it’s hard. God never promised that things would be easy in this world, but He did ensure us all that it was simple to choose to follow Him in all things. He gave us hope. “In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!” John 16:33 We mustn’t fight it; we should “Come to Him….and He will give us rest.” Matthew 11:28 After all, we are who we are regardless of our knowledge of who that is.