What Jesus Did! 'Don't Tell ... Yet!' — Matthew 16:20

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Then Jesus warned his followers not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.
— Matthew 16:20
Illustration of Matthew 16:20 — Then Jesus warned his followers not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Key Thought

One of the biggest mysteries of the Gospels over the years is why Jesus did not want anyone to tell others who he was. Some suggest it was just a psychological ploy to get the people to do just the opposite. Others suggest that he wanted to reveal his identity himself and not have it distorted by well-meaning but ill-informed people.
It seems to me that Jesus didn't want the people to go around saying who he is because this puts him in a mold, a category, a title, that the people of his day had pre-defined. Jesus wants to redefine the meaning of Son of God. He wants to re-wire the circuits of what people think that it means to be Christ, the Messiah of the Jews. So until he can live it and show it, he refuses to let others spread it. He will let his life, the cross, and his resurrection define his identity. Only then will he send his disciples out to tell the entire world who he is!
There is something wonderfully essential about the cross and resurrection that helps us define Jesus' identity. Without them, we are not only misinformed, but we are also without a true Savior!

Today's Prayer

Thank you, God, for having Jesus reveal his identity rather than having his disciples distort the true message of Jesus' identity. As Immanuel, God with us, I know Jesus' ministry was your ministry and Jesus was your presence. Please give me more strength and great power in talking to others about this so they can come to know Jesus as Lord, too! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus went to the area of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus said to his followers, "I am the Son of Man. Who do the people say I am?" The followers answered, "Some people say you are John the Baptizer. Other people say you are Elijah. And some people say that you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets. " Then Jesus said to his followers, "And who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered, "You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah. No person taught you that. My Father in heaven showed you who I am. So I tell you, you are Peter. And I will build my church on this rock. The power of death will not be able to defeat my church. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. When you speak judgment here on earth, that judgment will be God's judgment. When you promise forgiveness here on earth, that forgiveness will be God's forgiveness." Then Jesus warned his followers not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Matthew 16:13-20

Related Scripture Readings

Then Jesus helped the followers understand these Scriptures written {about him}. Jesus said to them, "It is written that the Christ would be killed and rise from death on the third day. You saw these things happen—you are witnesses. You must go and tell people that their sins can be forgiven. Tell them that they must change their hearts and be sorry for their sins. If they will do this, then God will forgive them. You must start from Jerusalem and tell people these things in my name. This Good News must be told to all people in the world. Listen! My Father has promised you something; I will send it to you. But you must stay in Jerusalem until you have received that power from heaven."

Luke 24:45-49

The Good News is about God's Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. As a person, he was born from the family of David. But through the Spirit of holiness Jesus was shown to be God's Son. He was shown to be God's Son with great power by rising from death.

Romans 1:3-4

But the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus. Jesus knew what the Pharisees were doing. So Jesus left that place. Many people followed Jesus, and he healed all the sick people. But Jesus warned the people not to tell other people who he was.

Matthew 12:14-16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.