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

Thursday, August 5, 2021

[After Peter answered that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus] sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
— Matthew 16:20 NLT

Key Thought

One of the biggest mysteries of the gospels over the years is why, during much of his ministry, Jesus does not want anyone to tell others who he is. Some suggest it is just a psychological ploy to get the people to do just the opposite. Others suggest that he wants to reveal his identity himself and not have it distorted by well-meaning but ill-informed people.

It seems to me that Jesus doesn'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 the Christ, the Messiah. So until he can live it and show it, he doesn't want others to 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, not only are we 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 24:45-49
  • Romans 1:3-4
  • Matthew 12:14-16

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 16:20 NLT — [After Peter answered that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus] sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.