Knowing or Trusting?


“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”…“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13, 15-16) 

Jesus looked at His followers and asked them a detailed demographic question.  It was a survey of sorts.  “Who do people say the Son of man is?”  In other words who do they think I am?  Jesus, more than likely already knew what others thought of Him and who He might be, but He asked His disciples.  Why did He do that?  Why ask if He already knew the answers?  

Perhaps the reason Jesus asked His disciples this question was to help them finally pin down who Jesus was in their hearts and minds.  He first asks them about how others viewed Him.  It is an the greater perspective, but then Jesus brings it back to them when He said, “But who do YOU say that I am?”  Notice the personal question.  Now the tables have turned.  Now the disciples are glancing at each other hoping someone will answer first.  It is one of the most pivotal moments in their spiritual education as Jesus’ disciples.  This one solitary moment of internal reflection.  It is a moment that causes each disciple to carefully inspect what He has done and what He has said.  For but a moment, doubt and worry must have clouded their minds. For but a moment each individual, not the collective, considered the right words to say to Jesus. It was mere moments but it could have been a lifetime.  

Is it no surprise that Peter is the one to speak?  He was the disciples that climbed out of the boat when all of the others waited and watched Jesus walking on the waves.  The same Peter who seemingly dove head first into anything he did.  It was all or nothing with Peter.  So Peter speaks up and nails Jesus’ identity for the group gathered there.  “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God“.  Can you say hashtag #nailedit ?  Peter solidifies for the rest of the disciples as he identifies Jesus.  It’s been nearly three years that they have been together, didn’t they already know?  Didn’t they already trust THE Rabbi?  

I think the question here that begs to be asked for us today is this:  “Who do we think Jesus is?” Can we quickly respond as Peter did?  Can we identify Jesus as God’s Son and Messiah to us as well?  Is He your Messiah?  

You see I believe there is a big difference between knowing Jesus and trusting Jesus!  James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.”  You could substitute the word ‘believe’ for the word ‘know’.  Even the demons know Jesus.  That is a big difference from fully trusting in Him though.  Trusting Jesus means that we have to let go of our preconceived notions.  It means that we have to relinquish our self-reliance.  It means that we have to place our faith in something other than ourselves or something seen…but in the unseen.  

Do you trust the Son of God?  Have you let go of your casual understanding of Him?  Are you prepared to delve into the waters of faith?  Don’t just settle for knowing Jesus, trust Him also!  Peter declared boldly “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”; may we have this same boldness in our faith to do likewise today!  

-Just a thought for today.

  • Simply trusting every day;
    Trusting through a stormy way;
    Even when my faith is small,
    Trusting Jesus, that is all.
  • Trusting as the moments fly,
    Trusting as the days go by,
    Trusting Him, whate’er befall,
      Trusting Jesus, that is all.


Jesus = Clean Slate


Luke 4:18-21 (NIV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

 Well this year is cruising to an end.  We are just over a week from 2014, and many (post Christmas) will be making lists of resolutions and promises.  Most will probably break them within the month of January, while others might actually fulfill their promised new year’s resolutions.  Regardless of where you stand on the whole “resolution” thing I imagine all of us would like a “do over” from time to time.  We all, most likely, live with some regrets in life.  We’ve erred and made poor decisions and we wish we could find a way to clean slate and start over.  


Jesus came to earth.  He was born within lowly means and He even slept in a feeding trough to begin His humble journey.  Jesus didn’t enter this world with much, but He left a lasting impact on this place.  Yet when he went back to His hometown in Nazareth (post wilderness temptation) he discovered his “old stomping grounds” were less than friendly to him.  He was invited to read from the very Word of God in the temple, yet what he read set the city folk’s teeth on edge.  Some thought perhaps, if he was Messiah (a big grasp for some), perhaps he would give them preferential treatment.  Yet he wasn’t what any expected the Messiah to be. Instead of vanquishing enemies and re-conquering Israel for his people, he came for a much more important conquest – the souls of all people! His mighty purpose wasn’t strictly for the Jews but for the entire world – those who would seek after him would find eternal life!  

Jesus declared within this prophetic passage that  it was fulfilled “in their hearing” (vv21).  He wasn’t only implying that He was the One they were waiting for but that a clean slate was possible – new life could take place!  How many of us have experienced this clean slate with Christ?  It’s interesting that Jesus uses this passage in Isaiah.  Do you know that there were specific years in the Hebrew custom that was a cause for celebration by the burdened, the taxed and the debtor?  It was called the “year of jubilee”,this was the year at the end of seven cycles of “shmita” which means Sabbatical years.  What that meant that after 49 or 50 years there was a year where all debts and financial burdens could be forgiven.  It was the year of clean slates!  This was certainly a cause for celebration for many many people.  Some probably hadn’t even caused their financial issue(s) but was passed onto them by their parents or relatives.  

A clean slate – Jesus declared himself to be Messiah and one in whom all could find a “do over” in life…to make better decisions, to start afresh and live selfless holy lives.  


Do you need a “do over” today?  Are you praying for a “restart” button?  Is there a slate that needs to be wiped clean?  Perhaps it’s time to make the leap and trust that Jesus was and is the ONLY ONE who can cancel your debts and set you free!  

-Just a thought for you today!

How Many Saviors? (A Poem)


How many Saviors does it take to save

A world hell bent on a fiery grave?

Sin-sick hearts and lonely souls

how many Saviors to make us whole?


How many Saviors will make us all free

without a cost, without a fee?

Is there a self-less Messiah around

who will love us, the lost and the found?


How many Saviors could love us that much

to redeem us from the certainly of death’s cold dark clutch?

Or die for our sins and claim our transgressions?

A God-man who hears our every confession. 


The answer is One, One Lord of the Light 

who redeems us and loves us and restores our dim sight

who comes as a babe and dies like a lamb

Resurrection is here, He is the Great I AM.


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