A teaching by Rev. Barbara Williams, President of the Ministry of the Watchman International
Week of October 14-18, 2019
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
Jesus the Rabbi is speaking to his disciples. They are accustomed to the Master’s questions. This is how the rabbi of that day taught the student. If the disciple was going to learn all that Jesus wanted him to know, he would have to answer the question, and have his knowledge either confirmed or corrected. They are hoping to give the right answer. You know how it is to be a student. You are more concerned about getting a good grade than acquiring knowledge that will give you life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Every time He interacts with His disciples they receive new life.
Jesus wants to know what the general population is saying about Him. He’s not in a popularity contest. He’s not insecure. He doesn’t mind that people malign Him, misunderstand Him, or even avoid Him. He is concerned about the final conclusion that every human should come to in life, and that is, “What have you done with Jesus? What do you say about Him? Who do you think He is? Have you had a real revelation of Him?”
If you are in need of healing, there is good news! Proverbs 4:20-22 SAYS:
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
So there is life and health in God’s word. Since God’s word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children’s bread. Consider this your “dose” for today. Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:
Rx: Psalm 105:37 ~ He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
If you’ve never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters this week:
October 14: 1 Kings 15, Colossians 4, Ezekiel 47, Psalms 103
October 15: 1 Kings 16-18, 1 Thessalonians 1, Ezekiel 48, Psalms 104
October 16: 1 Kings 19, 1 Thessalonians 2, Daniel 1, Psalms 105
October 17: 1 Kings 20, 1 Thessalonians 3, Daniel 2, Psalms 106
October 18: 1 Kings 21, 1 Thessalonians 4, Daniel 3, Psalms 107
October 19: 1 Kings 22, 1 Thessalonians 5, Daniel 4, Psalms 108-109
October 20: 2 Kings 1, 2 Thessalonians 1, Daniel 5 Psalms 110-111
And they said, “Some say that Thou art John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
So the disciples give Jesus the answers that they have heard. There is always two opinions. There is truth and error. There is public opinion and there is personal revelation. Jesus is asking about public opinion. Why? Because public opinion shapes our thinking. We are influenced by the society at large. We all adopt opinions that are based on the “group consensus,” whether it be denominational teaching, televised opinions, family or cultural attitudes that form common perceptions. Jesus wants us to know that group opinion about Him will not do. In the final analysis, you will stand before God to be accountable for what you did about Jesus. Did you seek to find His true identity?
Jesus wants to know if we have sought to know Him with all our hearts. The bible says that we will find Him when we seek Him with all our hearts. His early disciples are no exception. Which of the disciples would qualify as one who had a personal revelation of Him?
And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father who is in Heaven.”
Peter, of course. Peter volunteers the correct answer. I’m sure he is expecting the customary “Atta boy.” He knows that Jesus approves of His answer. When the Master approves, He goes further with you. Somehow the right answers give an invitation to us for the Master to give us more. How wonderful to be taught by God. He allows us to know that we are on the right road, and as a reward, He goes further with us. Usually, the disciples received some extra information from Jesus. After all, these little private discussions were always the format He used to share insider information. Think about the time the disciples could not cast the devil out of the boy. Jesus let them know what it would take for them to be able to get victory in this area. They always learned more about the ministry when they had these discussions.
This situation, however, is very different. The right answer this time causes Peter to tap into the biggie. Jesus tells Him that he is blessed for giving the right answer. Not beatitude blessed, but he has received the Father’s blessing, for the Father has imparted this revelation truth to him. The Father’s blessing is the blessing that Abraham gave Isaac, gave Jacob, gave the twelve tribes. This is the mother lode. The day of the Father’s blessing has come…to not only Peter, but to the church.
“And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This revelation earns Peter his new covenant name. Remember Abram, when he came into covenant with God, God changed his name to Abraham, the father of a multitude. Jesus initially addressed Peter as Simon the son of Jona. Now He is speaking to Peter. Peter the rock. Peter the new covenant man. Peter, the man with the Father’s blessing. Jesus has to give him a special blessing, for he has a new identity, a new purpose. He is God’s covenant man. He has entered into a new dimension of relationship with God the Father. He now is entitled to everything that the Father possesses.
Peter is one of a new breed of covenant person. He is the first of a family of heirs of God’s Kingdom who will have this same identity. Jesus tells Peter that He will build His body on this understanding: the revelation that Jesus is the Son of God. Romans 10:9-10 explains the way to salvation as just that. We must believe Jesus is the Son of God and that God raised him from the dead in order to have eternal life. Jesus says that all the devices of hell will not prevail against a person who believes this.
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”
This is the Father’s blessing: the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. In Old Testament times, the Hebrew father conferred certain blessings upon his children. The blessing of the firstborn was always the greatest. Each child received something from his father. The father gave to each child as he decided in his heart to give to him. Children received the inheritance that their father had laid up for them. A good father always had something to give to each of his children according to what the child was able to receive and manage. Jesus has given the Keys to the Kingdom to His church because He knows that we can manage His inheritance well for Him. Why? Because He lives within the church. We are joint-heirs with Him. He is the Head of the church. When we know Him personally, He works through us to accomplish His purposes on earth. This is why He can guarantee that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church.
The Father’s blessing is real and it is for all of us. All of us who put our faith and trust in this blessed revelation of Christ will have victory as we use the Keys to the Kingdom. We have authority to loose the Father’s blessing upon the whole earth. In preaching the gospel to all creatures, we invite more sons of God to receive the blessing of the Father. What an inheritance!