Opening Thoughts: Last night I blogged from Luke 9:18-20, if you haven’t read it yet it’s the passage where Jesus asks His disciples to tell Him who the crowds say that He is? Of course it’s no surprise to find out that the crowds really have no idea but only opinions. Then Jesus asks the disciples who they say that He is? Up to this point no one has actually addressed Him with full confidence that He is Literally God in the flesh. With that in mind, Peter blurting out you are the Christ of God is actually astonishing. Jesus confirms that Peter did not come to this accurate description on his own ability but it came as a revelation from God Himself.
Matthew 16:15-17 ESV .. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
There’s not a soul on the face of the earth that can come to the true realization of Jesus except that God gives Him the eyes and ears to do it. That’s why Jesus said many times “He that has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying” and “I say to you who hear” and of course “No one comes unless the Father draws him.” These passages reveal our inability to chose Him apart from Him revealing and drawing us.
Don’t Say a Word: I’m guessing everyone that will read this post at some time in your life have been told something of the utmost importance, where the person telling you also warned you “Don’t say a word to anyone.” I think many of us are guilty of spilling the beans in situations like this only to tell the people we tell “Don’t say a word to anyone.” If someone trusts you with a special message and tells you to guard it with your life and not to tell anyone, my gut is telling me that we should likely do as they say. I would also suggest that if God is the one revealing a secret to you, and He instructs you not to say anything, it’s likely of far greater importance than human secrets.
There were obvious reasons why Jesus did not want His true identity revealed, and that we will discuss tomorrow. But the idea is, that because Peter was correct in his confession that Jesus was in fact divine. If this had gotten out the people of Israel would have never let Him die. They would have forced Him into a military and political type leadership roll in efforts to take back their rule and reign from the Romans (see John 6:15). Jesus knew that He indeed must suffer, something His believing disciples had not realized yet. Once the cat was out of the bag, Jesus strictly warns His disciples not to tell anyone. And they obeyed.
“And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one“
That Was Then: I think we would all agree that if Jesus came to our house, and literally revealed Himself to us as He did to Peter, and told us something that was to come, then He strictly warned us not to say a word, we would likely obey. If you have friends that tell you in confidence that they are 8 weeks pregnant. They also tell you not to tell anyone at all, they don’t mean that you can’t tell anyone after the baby has been born, that’s just silly. I think you might now where I’m going with this.
This is Now: Peter kept this amazing secret all the time that Jesus suffered and died. But something happened when Jesus rose from the dead. He came back and called all of His disciples together and purposefully gave them a new order. Do you know what that order is?
Mark 16:15-16 ESV .. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
What’s the Problem: While I was comparing these to commands the thought came to me “it must be easier to obey a command that warns us not to tell people about Jesus? Than to obey command to tell everyone about Him.” the late Bill Bright did a survey and concluded that only 2% of all professing Christians in America actively share their Gospel, I think that serves to stress this point. If a condemned person was made a member of a Royal family and the King told him that his new job was to go everywhere and proclaim the message of the kingdom. I’m sure he would do as he was told. Namely because he knows how ill deserving he is and what an amazing opportunity he’s been given to be included in this kingdom.”
A command to Keep Silent is just as important as a command to Proclaim to Everyone. Disobedience is treated the same way for both. How can we teach people to “observe all that He has commanded” if we ourselves are disobeying His orders.
Old command “Don’t Say a Word” new command “Proclaim to Everyone.” The ball is now in your court, either enlist or remain in disobedience to Christ’s final command He issued. The choice is yours, but I’m enlisting.
What to Do: If you have no clue how you would even begin to share your faith please visit my friends at Living Waters also know as Way of The Master for some amazing instruction on sharing the Gospel with your frineds, family and even strangers.
If you don’t know Jesus and this is all very foreign to you, please respond to this post and I would love to talk in more detail about what you must do to be saved!
Grace & Peace