I looked over and when I saw the sticker, I remembered that Jesus keeps his word.
Jesus was a little over halfway through his ministry. His disciples had been with him for some time. They had seen him teach with authority. They were there when he healed the broken. They witnessed him silencing the demonic. They heard him command the elements.
There was this fascinating moment when he questioned his disciples. He asked them, “Who do people say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13)
They gave a few ideas, John the Baptist, others Elijah, and other Jeremiah or one of the Prophets. (Matthew 16:4)
Jesus pushed deeper into their understanding. “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15)
If you know the story you know this is the remarkable moment when Peter makes the great confession. “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
Contrary to popular believe, Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Those words were carefully chosen. The word Christ is a title. It is the same word used for Messiah and it means anointed. Jesus is the anointed one of God.
Old Testament Promises
When we look back at the Old Testament, we see that they anointed three offices.
- Prophets (1 Kings 19:16)
- Priests (Exodus 28:41)
- Kings (1 Samuel 10:1)
If we dig deeper and examine the lives of the prophets, priests, and kings of the Old Testament we see that all of them failed. Some tried to follow God and could not. Others utterly rejected God and followed their own desires. However, after the failings of men God promised that he would raise up a prophet who would only speak truth (Deuteronomy 18). He spoke of a King who reign over a Kingdom that would be established forever (2 Samuel 7.) He assured the nation he would raise up a priest who was faithful (Zechariah 3).
This is the Messiah. He would serve as prophet, priest, and king. He would deliver God’s people from sin.
When Peter declared Jesus is the Christ, he was saying that Jesus was the anointed one. This Jesus was the one that God was raising up to fulfill all the Old Testament promises.
Jesus Will Build His Church
Jesus affirmed Peter’s answer and told him that this truth was disclosed to him by God (Matthew 16:17). And Jesus went on, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18, ESV)
Look at what Jesus promised, “He will build his church.” And not only will Jesus build His church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail. We typically read this phrase as defensive, meaning that nothing would be able to destroy his church. However, the way the sentence is structured Jesus is proclaiming an offensive posture, meaning that Jesus’ church is taking ground – Jesus will build his church AND it will continue to grow!!!
There would be times where it looked like Jesus’ words would not hold true. The first moment was his crucifixion. However, death could not stop him. Jesus was raised in power (Romans 1:4). And then, throughout the years attack after attack has come against his church. For a moment it would look perilous, like it was over, and there would be mourning. But she, the church, would rise again as a witness to the resurrection. And now Jesus is the head of the body, the church (Colossians 1:18) – and he is continuing to build her and sanctify her.
Jesus Loves You
We were driving through a major metropolitan of India. We were in an area where less than two percent claim to be Christian and driving to an area that is less than half a percent. I looked over at the car beside ours and I saw the sticker. “Jesus loves you.” And I remembered Jesus keeps his word. The church, starting in Jerusalem, has continued to spread throughout the world.
So, when you here people say that Jesus loves you, you can trust them. Because you can trust Jesus and he keeps his word. He is He is the anointed one, the Prophet, the Pries, and the King.
Jesus loves you.