27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But you, who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he warned them not to say this to anyone about himself.
when truth gets in the way
Christ came openly preaching a new kingdom – a kingdom over which he would reign. Why, then, would he warn his disciples not to reveal that he was God’s promised Messiah? There were a few reasons. One of those reasons is that there was a task for him to do – a terrible task that he must complete before taking up his destiny as humanity’s eternal king. He had the cross in view. Even the truth of who he was could not get in the way of his mission.
There are some truths we are learning about ourselves in the Bible. Truths about our eternal destiny, God’s covenant love for us, and our value to him. All the unbelievers and those who reject Christ will suffer eternal destruction, and will cease to exist for eternity. But God has promised that nothing will ever snatch us from his protective hand. Knowing such truths, we may be tempted to devalue the lost world around us. But Christ challenges us to keep our minds and hearts on our current mission – to love the lost into his kingdom. The truth of who we are in Christ must take a back seat to the truth of God’s love for everyone – even those who will ultimately reject him.
LORD, may we live consumed by your sacrificial love for others.