Jesus was alone. He was praying. Suddenly his guys show up and Jesus pops the question: “Who does everybody else out there think I am.” Their response was varied: “Some say you are Elijah, or John the Baptist or one of the old prophets.” Jesus then inquires, “but what do you think?” Peter has a revelation. He affirms that Jesus is the Christ that was to come. Jesus’ response is staggering: “Do not tell anybody.” We must understand the anticipation. The Jewish people had been waiting for the Messiah moment for almost two thousand years. It is here! You can feel the excitement in the air! He has come! The King has come! The Kingdom of God is flowering and the man has arrived!
Jesus says, “Do not tell anyone.” What? What? Why? Jesus does not respond to why or what. If telling no one was staggering, the next statements are even more bewildering: “The religionists are going to kill me.” What kind of Messiah is this? That cannot be!
I do not know if they caught the tag to this disclosure but Jesus said, “By the way, I will raise from the dead the third day!”
I know they must have struggled with this because Jesus continues instructing by telling his men that they are going to have to deny themselves and their own wants and desires to follow him. To come after Jesus is a lot of cross carrying, which indicates an end to a selfish life. However, before you jump to the conclusion that this is just a heavy, burdensome life of drudgery and self-denial, please understand what Jesus just said: “I will rise again. I’ll embrace the cross, but I will rise in power and majesty and glory!”
You see, it is a trade. You give up your scrawny, puny, miserable, selfish, self and you get the glorious, powerful, majestic, resurrected, Christ in return! Jesus even further declares that some standing there will will not die until they have seen the Kingdom of God; and see it they did! On the day of Pentecost, the Kingdom of God came in power! The resurrected Christ sat down at the right hand of the Father and unleashed the might of heaven on earth, the Holy Spirit! The disciples of Jesus had given up on their own lives to receive this glory!
I believe that God is waiting on the church in America to joyously embrace the great thing that God wants to do. I believe that our Father is ready to pour himself out on this needy generation.
What is he looking for? People who love his word and are not ashamed of him. He is not looking for a perfect people but a people who can see. A people who can see that Jesus is everything. He is not an addition to our lives, he is our life! A people that count everything else as loss to just have him; to have his word, his love, his presence. Nothing else matters. Wow! What an exchange! We take up the cross and he pours out kingdom power!
Do you want it?!