When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16
Confession can easily get stuck in my throat. Jesus wanted a confession from Peter ~ especially after the erroneous confessions of other Jewish people. He knew Peter’s heart but perhaps Peter needed to draw a line in the sand of truth for his own sake.
I remember the scripture, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 Without audible confession, there is serious doubt as to someone’s standing with God. My willingness to align puts my new-found faith in cement. Proclaiming my love and allegiance to Jesus when keeping company with Jesus-haters makes me an enemy.
This is the same tension the prophets felt when God told them to take His message to people who were usually stiff-necked and closeminded. Oh, what a job they had! Some of them questioned God out of their inadequacy and fear. Jonah ran away from his assignment until the chastening was worse than the calling. Jeremiah said, “If I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20:9 I’m chuckling as I read this, not because I think it’s funny but only because I’ve lived it. God gives the message and the mandate. I belong to Him and He is my King. Yet going where I’m called and opening my mouth to say what His servants down through the ages have proclaimed takes supernatural courage. Yes, the message shook up the world and brought revival but it also made the message bearers public enemies. What will be the result for me, for you? We don’t know. And so, my prayer is this ~
I’m yours. When I open my mouth, fill it and help me stand on my feet. Amen