The Glorious One extends the most glorious invitation, to the least deserving.
Jesus asked His disciples, "who do people say that the Son of man is?" This question seems as relevant and timely today as it did then; who do you say Jesus is?
The timing Jesus asks this question is interesting. Like all good things naturally do, news about Him began to spread at an increasing rate. With each miracle and every inexplicable moment, Jesus's notoriety was ever growing. The people were trying to make sense of what they were seeing and what they were hearing, but they didn't have a fully formed compartment in which to place this man in. So the crowds were using their history to attempt to bring some semblance of understanding. They thought maybe He is the beloved John the Baptist? Perhaps one of the great prophets of the past have come back. Maybe Elijah, or maybe Jeremiah?
Jesus responded, "But who do say that I am?"
Moving with precision from "they" to now "you", Jesus purposely and intentionally began to dig down to expose the root and the foundation of their belief. Jesus was the master teacher. He constantly moved from the edges to the center, seeking to stir the deep waters of the heart. The depths of humanity innately know the language of the deep. And so, deep calls to deep to confront the lie that we can find the more we long for on the surface. This is a tender moment in which the conversation moves beyond the surface to the deep. A moment Jesus wanted to capture in order to further align perspective. Space Jesus created to let the disciples sit in and allow truth to settle deeper. Invited exploration that will lead to discovery.
As usual, Peter speaks, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." He confesses that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed One, the Messiah. One of the greatest joys for a teacher, a coach, or a parent are the moments when the proverbial lights bulbs would illuminate. The moments of awakening, where all of a sudden, at least for that moment, things made sense. All the lessons, all the words. The journey full of ups and downs, ebbing and flowing on the waves of belief, culminate in this moment of confession, "You are the Christ." In this truth revealed to the disciples by God, through the active work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus began to lay the foundation for a new way forward.
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.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
"Yes, Peter. I am the Christ, the anointed One. The living Word. The visible image of the invisible God. The firstborn of all creation. I am the first and the last. I am the beginning and the end. The sovereign king and glorious One. The everlasting, faithful, and steadfast One. I am the bread of life. I am the light of the world. I am the doorway, the pathway, the gateway, and the highway. I am the good shepherd. I am the the true vine. I am the way, the truth, and the life. Yes, Peter. I am Jesus, the Christ, you are Peter, and on this truth I will strengthen you and use you to build my church, and the enemy will not prevail against it."
The glorious One, extends the most glorious invitation, to the least undeserving. Peter's confession inaugurates the greatest invitation, "join me." But its more than just join me, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." It's access.
With invitation, comes access.
This is your inheritance.