February 21, 2012
“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”” — Matthew 16:16
In one of the Bible study trips to Israel which I led, a mother joined us with her two young daughters. One of them tended to wander away as she liked to explore new places and see new things.
I offered to help keep an eye on the girl as it was crowded in certain places and she might lose her way. I joked that the best way to not lose each other was for us to be tied together. Literally.
The mother was game for it, so we tied our wrists together with a short cord for fun. But what do you know? It worked! Throughout the trip, I never lost the girl even once.
One day, during the trip, I was speaking with her when out of the blue, she suddenly said in half in jest, “If you lose me, you would wish you were never born.”
It was said in the context of the close relationship she had with her father, and how protective he was of his daughters. Later, when I got to know her dad, I understood the statement, and was amazed at how well his daughters knew him. As I was thinking about her spontaneous statement, it led me to a profound truth.
Nearing the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth, He led the disciples to a quiet place. In Caesarea Philippi, he asked them a profound question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
The disciples reported what others were saying about Him. But Jesus wanted to know “…who do YOU say that I am.”
Immediately, Peter said “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
What a profound answer! Jesus is the Messiah, God?s anointed One. He was prophesied in the Old Testament. But the emphasis was also placed on Jesus being “Son of the living God”.
The Jews often described their God as the living God in contrast to dead idols. By referring to God this way, Peter left no doubt about the God who is the Father of Jesus.
This spontaneous and truthful exclamation shows what a personal knowledge Peter had of Jesus. He had been with Jesus since the beginning of His ministry. This statement is a result of three years learning from Jesus.
The girl who was “tied” to me for six days in Israel knew her father well. Peter also knew Jesus well. What about you? How well do you know Jesus?
If someone were to ask you about Jesus and who he is, what would your answer be?
To really know someone, you must spend time together. Occasional brief encounters will not do. Also, you must have “quality time”. How much time do you spend with Him? How do you spend your time with Him?
God makes Himself known to us through His written Word. So, I trust that you will get to personally know Him, by reading, studying and responding to the Bible.
Thought For The Week (TFTW) is contributed by Dr Koh Siang Kiang, Associate Professor (Christian Education) at the Singapore Bible College (SBC). She graduated from SBC and Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), USA, and has served in various ministries for more than 35 years, including teaching at DTS. Dr Koh has been with SBC for the last 10 years, and has a passion for people and teaching the Word of God. She also loves to make the Bible come alive by leading tours to the Holy Land, and has led 12 such trips. To help her relax, Dr Koh likes to cook and cross-stitch.