“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 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 Barjona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
The greatest revelation you can ever have in your life is to come to a full consciousness that Jesus is the Messiah and that He is the Son of God! This revelation has several significant ramifications for your life. It is important to pay attention to the word “revelation.” You cannot know the identity of the Christ – the Son of God – except by a revelation of God. His (Christ’s) identity will reveal your identity (in Him). It is through a revelation of Jesus’s identity that you come to know your own identity, because outside of Christ you do not, and cannot, know who you really are. (We shall explore this truth another time).
Let us look at the passage from Matthew 16:13-17. Jesus wants to find out what image his disciples have of him. After a brief moment of confused responses, Jesus demanded an answer from the disciples’ own perspective. Then came Peter’s response: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus calls Peter blessed, and quickly reminds him that flesh and blood has not revealed this to him, but the heavenly Father. What was Jesus’ point? Jesus wanted Peter to understand that true knowledge of Son of God always comes by a revelation from the Father. Unless it is revealed, a person cannot have this kind of knowledge. Scripture tells us that even demons “knew” that Jesus was the Son of God. Many people can also learn that Jesus is the Son of God. There are many scholars (including theologians, philosophers, clergy, students, and so forth) who “know” that Jesus is the Son of God. But this does not necessarily mean that they have a revelation of Jesus’ identity. Listen to what Jesus said: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matt 11:27).
Simply learning about the Christ is not equal to revelation. Earning a PhD in Theology or Christology does not necessarily give you a revelation of Christ. Revelation of Jesus comes through a supernatural move of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the will of the Father. In other words, it comes as a free gift from the Father in heaven. You cannot earn a revelation from God. You can only receive it with humility and thanksgiving. When a person has a revelation of who Jesus is, his heart becomes completely convinced, his spirit wakes up to the knowledge revealed, and by his mouth he confesses what has been revealed. Listen to what St. Paul said to the Romans: “For, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved” (Rom 10:9-10). That is not all. St. Paul also wrote to the Galatians, reminding them of the source of the Gospel he preaches. Let us listen: “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ . . . But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood” (Gal 1: 12-13, 15-16).
Beloved, God is pleased to reveal to us who Jesus really is. He wants to. But he wants us to understand that true revelation of Jesus does not come through flesh and blood (human efforts, human theories), lest we boast in our own limited and deficient knowledge. As each new day begins, we want to depend on God by asking him for a deeper and fresh revelation of who Jesus is, who the Father is, who the Spirit is, and finally, who we truly are in Christ! Amen!
Pray with me:
Father in heaven, I bless and thank you. I open my heart and my mind to receive from you a fresh and deeper revelation of Jesus. I want to know Jesus more. I want to know you more. I want to know the Holy Spirit more. And I want you to show me who I truly am in Christ. I believe you have heard and answered me. I thank you in the name of Jesus your Son.
Thanks for sharing Father!
Fr. I do admire these wonderful pieces of reflections. It is very inspiring. I encourage you write a lot more to help us in our journey of knowing and serving God. I wish you well.