I love the story from the book of Matthew where Jesus and his disciples arrive in a particularly pagan area. At that time Jesus asked his followers, “Who are they saying that I am?” The disciples answer with a variety of names given by a mixture of ideologies. Jesus then presents his twelve with a single pop quiz question asking, “But who do YOU say that I am?”
Most everyone has a favorite scripture, and this is the one I call my “signature scripture”. Several years ago, I found myself in a place of searching. I had known and revered the Lord since I was a small child, but had grown complacent in my faith walk. In fact, I had become quite stagnant. So, I began to pray and ask that God would create a hunger in me, not only for His Word, but simply for the things of God.
I already owned a great Bible given to me as a gift a few years earlier. My plan was to start with the New Testament, beginning of course with Matthew. I was familiar with many of the stories already, but as I continued to read, something else was happening. My understanding of what I was reading was changing. And it was when I reached verse 15 of the sixteenth chapter that a light came on.
“But who do you say that I am?” The words nearly exploded off the page. I couldn’t go any farther. I was hung up on those eight tiny words. But who do YOU say that I am? Suddenly, I sensed that I was being given a pop quiz…..the one truly revealing question of where we are in our walk with the Lord. I was now confronted by my own life as I contemplated the depth of that simple yet profound question.
Who did my language say that He was? Who did my thoughts say that He was? Who did my actions say that Jesus was? Everything I said or did, I realized was a reflection of who Jesus was in my life. I had been guilty of putting Him in a box, pulling Him out on Sundays and using Him only in the case of emergencies. My heart was heavy and I hung my head in shame.
But…restoration and joy came in the next two verses. …. (16) Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”
(17)Then Jesus answered, saying “Blessed are you, Simon, for flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.”
It was in that moment, I knew God was revealing Himself to me in a way that would impact me forever. It would be the scripture that held the mirror to my soul and became the springboard of my faith.