Journal Guide - Who is Jesus Christ? - Matthew 16:15

Who is Jesus Christ?
Matthew 16:15

Hi everybody, it’s Pastor Dave, and it is time to jump into another Alone With God time. I hope you can find a quiet place, and grab your journal and a Bible, and get ready to really meet God in your time alone with him. If you haven’t ordered our new Alone With God journal yet, you can order one, and you can get all of the audio guides that go with it by downloading the Word By Mail phone app from your app store. You can also find all the information at

Today we are going to focus on Matthew 16:15. That’s our key focus verse, but we’ll be reading Matthew 16, verses 13-16. So, grab your journal, open your Bible, and turn it to Matthew 16:13-16. I am reading from the New Living Translation (NLT).

To begin your Meditate section in your journal, I’m just going to read these verses, and then I’m going to zero in on just verse 15 today. And then I’ll help you kind of dig into the mediate section.

Matthew 16:13-16 (NLT)
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
(That’s our focus today, that question.)
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

So, the Meditate section of your journal says, what is God’s Word saying? What are the spiritual principles here? So, guys, let’s not overcomplicate this. Let’s just walk through it. What is God’s Word actually saying here? What is the spiritual principle that we see here?

So, when Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, which was far, far north on the edge of Israel. It was an area of massive pagan worship. People call it the Las Vegas of Israel, where you can go and worship all these pagan gods. And he took his disciples up there, and while he was there, he said to them, “who does the world say that I, the Son of Man, am?” And that’s a great question because he’s asking them, not only do you know what the world says about me, but he’s leading up to the question, are you influenced by it?  

And so, they say, “Well. Some say such and such. Some say so and so. Some say this, and some say that.” And Jesus wasn’t really that interested in all those answers. He was setting up a contrast between who does the world say that he is and who do his followers say that he is. And so, in verse 15, he asks them our big question. “But who do you say I am?” That’s it. Who do you say I am? I’m going to encourage you to write this in your meditate section, and circle, and underline, and highlight it. And then, Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

So, in your Meditate section right now, just write what God’s Word is saying, especially after I’ve tried to develop it a little for you. Just write what it says. And the big points are that Jesus says, who do other people say that I am, but more importantly, who do you say I am? And Peter answered correctly. You are the Messiah, the One Come from God to Save, the only One Come from the Living God, the Son of God. So go ahead and write in your Meditate section.

Now, for your Apply section, I want to share with you a section from a message that we did here on these verses, in preparation for your application, for you applying these verses. Read this portion from the live Sunday message.

Your answer to who Jesus is will not only direct your relationship with Jesus; it will ultimately direct your eternity. How you answer this question will ultimately direct your eternity and especially what you do with your answer.

Not (I’m trying to be soft) just, “They told me I had to say he was God, so I said it. But, you know…” Who was it, Augustine? He said, “Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” And so, it’s not just verbal acquiescence, but how do you answer this question with your life?

Fortunately, Peter had heard what the world said about Jesus but it had not influenced him. The world didn’t influence Simon Peter. Jesus said, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered in Matthew 16:16, Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Messiah is Hebrew. Christ is Greek. These are not Jesus’ last names – neither of them. They are both titles. They both mean, basically, the same thing. The Anointed One Who Has Come From God to Save. That’s Messiah. That’s Christ.

So, Peter says to Jesus, “You are the Anointed One Who Has Come From God with Salvation. You are the Messiah.” And then he adds, “You are the Son of the living God,” which is why I really like Matthew’s take on this. He says, “You are the Son of the living God.”

Son of God does not mean that Jesus was birthed by God. It’s a phrase that says literally, has come forth from God, but not in that “creation” sort of way but “expressed out” of God. And so, Son of God is this title of Deity in Humanity. He’s come forth from God in human form. So, Peter’s response is, “You’re the Anointed One Come From God to Save, and You are God Clothed in Human Form.”

Guys, this is critical. Who we believe Jesus is, truly, and what authority we believe he has in our lives will determine everything about our relationship with him. If we are flippant, superficial, and casual in our relationship with Jesus, it might be because we don’t really understand the authority that he has. We don’t understand WHO he IS. We see him as serving us, which is just the weirdest thing in the world when you read the Bible. We see him not with this eternal authority over all of creation.

Remember, the definition of “apply” is the inward acknowledgment of the truths that the Holy Spirit is impressing on your heart for your life, personally and specifically. So after our introduction in your meditation time, after you have read or listened to this portion of the live service, write down in your Apply section how does this apply to your life, personally and specifically. Don’t say how you’re going to respond yet; just say where does this apply. How does this apply? What is the Holy Spirit pointing out in your life today? And then we’ll do a response next. But first, go ahead and write how does this apply to your life?

Okay, now we are ready to respond. Your Respond section just says, what action will I take today in response to this truth? And guys, this can be an action of belief. An action of faith, of putting your full faith and trust in who Jesus Christ is, that he is truly the Messiah, the Son of God. He is God in the flesh. Your response can be a response of faith, of commitment, of trust, of belief in that. But maybe you have a different response. Maybe it’s something else. But go ahead and stop and write your response in the Respond section according to the instructions there in the journal.

And then finally, write your prayer in the Pray section. How has the scripture impacted you as you’ve meditated on it, read (or listened) to the portion of the live service, as you’ve applied it to your life, and as you’ve written your response? Now pray to align your heart with the will of God on this truth. Pray back to God what he’s been speaking to you by his Word and through his Holy Spirit. Go ahead and write your prayer now.

Let me pray to close for us.

Heavenly Father, we just thank you for revealing who you are, Jesus. Who you truly, truly are. Lord, we say today that you are the Messiah, the One Come from God to Save Us, the Only One Who Can Save Us. And Lord, you are the Son of God. You have come forth from God as a man to be able to die in our place, pay the penalty for our sins, and exchange your righteousness for our sin. Lord, you’re the only one who could do that. We thank you. We thank you, Lord. And God, I pray that you, Jesus, are the personal Savior of every single person listening. In your precious name, Jesus, amen.
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