Are you serving God’s interests or man’s?
Jerry A Collins
² What is the most important question we can ever ask?
² How can we set our mind’s on God’s interests?
² What does denying myself and taking up my cross mean?
A good way to determine whether a ministry is legitimate or not is how the person and work of Jesus Christ is viewed in that ministry. God is very interested in that confession because His interests are bound up in the interests of His Son. Jesus Christ is of supreme value and His person and work as revealed in the Bible is the ultimate test of legitimacy for any work using His name. God takes this very seriously. Jesus was a bone of contention in His day and who he was and what He did caused the often sharp disagreements between His contemporaries. So Jesus is a watershed. What you say about Him and what you believe about Him matters. Jesus Himself even brought up this potential bone of contention about Him by asking His own disciples what they thought about Him.
Interpretation: THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION IN LIFE IS WHO DO YOU SAY JESUS IS?
1. This section marks the transition To Jesus beginning of His private ministry to the twelve disciples vs 21 from that time. This was the same phrase used in Mt 4:17 that marked the beginning of His public ministry to the Jews. The first phase was primarily public with some private instruction. This phase will be private with some occasional public instruction.
2. There is also a clear connection between Jesus and His ministry with the disciples that launches this more private based ministry. In vs 12 He asks His disciples a question. In vs 20 He warns His disciples to safeguard His ministry. In vs 21 He began to show His disciples the necessity for His death. In vs 24 He teaches (says) His disciples the path of discipleship. So we have the basic ingredients of a discipleship ministry revealed to us: (1) A discipler makes sure his disciple is engaged in learning not just acquiring information. (2) A discipler is concerned that his disciple comprehend the true nature of Jesus’ ministry not what people’s expectations of that ministry are. (3) A discipler is determined that his disciple is interested in the same things God is interested in not what the prevailing religious interests may be. (4) A discipler is committed to his disciple pursuing heavenly profit through denying and cross bearing not earthly profit or prosperity.
Question about Jesus identity 13-16
This takes place in Caesarea Philippi near the base of Mt Herman up in the north. This is like a retreat with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus wanted to know who people thought He was—possibly because of changing opinions about Jesus through influence of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Son of man had messianic use in Daniel and used of a prophet in Ezekiel so both ideas could be here. Some thought He was John come back form the dead; or a forerunner to coming messiah, Elijah; or prophet of doom as Jeremiah. This indicates that no group was openly confessing Jesus was Messiah and some who may have thought so still had enough misgivings to avoid open confession. Interesting since Jesus ministry spoke volumes all by itself. Jesus makes the question more personal in vs 15. The wording is such that Jesus was asking the whole group of disciples this question. Peter’s response is on behalf of all of them not just himself vs 16. Peter’s confession was direct—He was convinced that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the coming King, deliverer of His people. Later on this description of Jesus would be filled with more meaning for Him. Jesus would be the same as the Father.
Teaching Jesus mission 17-19 In
Mt 11:25 Jesus said the Father had been revealing the Son and now we learn that
Peter had gotten that message vs 17. In spite of the
leaven of the Pharisees—their teachings—Peter had got it right. With the
confusion and false teaching about Jesus prevalent in the land, the procedure
the Father and the Son planned, had worked—no one could know the Father or the
Son unless it was revealed to them and that procedure included all the
authenticating signs, received by Peter and apprehended by faith. Jesus
expresses that Peter—either his confession of Christ or more likely his role as
an apostle—will be the basis upon which Christ will build his church vs 18. This building includes all the ministry of all of
the apostles—their teaching, writing of scriptures, establishing and affirming
the Church—were all necessary ways Christ began to build His church. There is
no apostolic succession or papal infallibility or any kind of authority for
successors to Peter. Jesus says He will build His church but Paul and the
apostles build it (1 Cor ). Jesus is the foundation of the church (1 Cor ) but
the apostles and prophets also the foundation (Eph -20; ).
Peter has the keys here vs 19 but in ; 3:7 Jesus has them. So we learn
Jesus is the builder, the foundation will be the apostles,
Peter made the confession so is first among equals with these privileges. He
can bind and loose on earth and in heaven with these keys meaning that he has
the power to admit or exclude people. The idea being Peter, by proclaiming the
good news of the
Interpretation: THE PATH OF DISCIPLESHIP FOCUSES ON GOD’S INTERESTS NOT SATAN’S
Jesus foretells his death 21-23 (1) He must go to
Path of discipleship 24-28 (1) Deny yourself—that is the basic rite of passage to discipleship. (2) Take up your cross—that is your life situation at the moment. (3) Follow me—that is obey my commands. (4) Lose your life for my sake—that is give up your comfort, recognition whenever required. The purpose is for profit vs 26. Place your value in the kingdom and Jesus return 27. Vs 28 refers to the Transfiguration in Chp 17.
1. Everything we do today is based on the work and teachings of the apostles commissioned by Christ inspired by HS.
2. Live for eternal profit by choosing daily, hourly, to follow the path of discipleship.