Matthew 16:13 - 18:35
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (16:16).” Christ is of course not Jesus’ last name, but rather a title; He is Jesus the Christ. Christ means “Anointed One,” and it’s the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term “Messiah” from the Old Testament. As the Father has now revealed (to Peter) Jesus’ identity as the long-awaited Messiah (16:17), so now Jesus begins to reveal to His disciples what He as the Messiah came to do. And nothing could have been more unexpected to many of their 1st century Jewish minds. Jesus came not to conquer Rome, but to conquer sin and death, and He would do this by suffering at the hands of His own people (aided by the Romans), dying, and rising again from the dead (see 16:21, 17:9, 17:12, & 17:22-23). Consistent with this teaching, Jesus went on to declare that those who are following Him must of course walk in the ways in which He walked. The Christian, if he (or she, of course) is truly following his LORD, must also “deny himself and take his cross…for whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (16:24-25).” Are there ways in which your understanding of the Christian life needs to be challenged by these words of Christ?
Reflect: One of the ways in which most of us (if not all) need to be challenged to walk in the ways of our LORD is in the area of forgiveness. If you haven’t read it yet, spend a few moments reading the last section of today’s text, Matthew 18:21-35. God has been infinitely rich in mercy towards us; how can you be richer in mercy towards others? Is there perhaps a specific person that the LORD is asking you to move towards in forgiveness?
Connect: The Servant Songs of Isaiah had much to say about the coming Suffering Servant. Perhaps you’re quite familiar with the well-known verses of Isaiah 52:13-53:12. If not, take some time to meditate upon them now, and what they can teach you about Jesus’ suffering as our Messiah. If you are familiar with them, try reading one of the less familiar Servant Songs from Isaiah 42:1-9, 49:1-7, and 50:4-9. For those interested in further study, here’s a helpful TableTalk article on “The Servant Songs of Isaiah:” https://tabletalkmagazine.com/article/2019/10/the-servant-songs-of-isaiah/
- Rev. John McCombs
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.