The Intellectual Jesus
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Matthew 16:13-15 (KJV)
What’s Your Take?
Everywhere you and I turn; there is never a lack of hearing about Jesus. His name is mentioned on billboards, on radio and television, in countless songs, we can read about Him in a variety of books and magazines; yet there is one question that will come to every man: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”
Every man must answer the question for themselves, because to know the name of Jesus, to walk with Jesus, or sing about Jesus, will never validate our experience in Jesus. In Matthew 16:13-15, we find that the disciples followed Jesus, they walked with Him more closely, in respect to being among Him, yet they did not seem to have that highest of connection: intimately knowing Him.
The question comes on the heels of an instruction that seem to come out of nowhere, when He said unto them: “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6). They reasoned within themselves that Jesus was talking about the fact that they had forgotten to take bread with them on their journey. The language of Jesus seems to escape them, for He was talking about the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. How many times does Jesus speak and we yet fail to hear? How many times are we compelled to behold the Lamb that is slain, but fail to see? These men walked with Jesus as close as a father walks with his son, and yet, the scriptures reveal to us instances where they did not know Him; or hear Him! We must press on to know (intimately) the Lord; for He desires to unfold himself in a way that pushes way beyond our mere religious experience. We must press on to know Him firsthand, and not hold close to our bosom a second-handed revelation, which only seeks to dull our ability to experience Jesus Christ, in a real and vibrant way for ourselves.
There has to come a time when we can, like Peter, begin to hear in the spirit, the prompting question of who Jesus is. Today when we hear the voice of God, through the spirit, we must not harden our hearts in the day of provocation. God provokes us in the spirit to answer the question of who the son is! Religion keeps us wondering in the wilderness of our understanding, putting doctrine upon us that keeps us looking for the Jesus that either walked the shores of Galilee, or the Jesus that is Heaven, whom we will see again, if we live right.
What about the Jesus within? Is it possible for us to know Him, or must we keep pointing to the symbolic Jesus that is preached in our ear Sunday after Sunday? The disciples are put to the test, to answer the question, which basically, is for the purpose of addressing the questions of the perceptions of not merely what men are saying, but what are the perceptions held of Jesus as it relates to those walking in close proximity with Him?
How can we turn the intellectual Jesus into the Jesus, in whom we live, move and have our being in Him? How can we experience the healing influence of Him in our lives each and every day?
In John 10:10, Christ declared one of many reasons for His coming to mankind: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Christ came, not to overload us with doctrine or religious practices, He is come to infuse us with His life and that in abundance. How many more robberies must take place in our lives, robbing us of the experience of knowing Christ for ourselves? Christ is waiting to be revealed, and revealed He must be. When Jesus directs His line of question from what others are saying, bringing it down to a more intimate level, He does so to move them to the arena of hearing the Holy Spirit.
When we respond with knowledge that is not intimate in its scope, we can only say of Jesus what others say. When the preacher tells us that God is a healer, it does not make us know it. When we are taught of God’s provision, it does not readily conclude that we have that as our experience.
The power we need lies in the response of one, and that is what Peter says, when he says, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (see Matthew16:16). More importantly as what he said, is how did he get the answer?
Christ tells Peter, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” We can hear all the sermons and teachings there are under the sun, but until we understand the impact of revelation or the revealed Christ, we will be of all men, most miserable. Keeping Christ in our experience as a second hand revelation strips us of the joy of what it is to have the awakening of the Christ within. Jesus Christ in this line of questioning was preparing the disciples for what was to come; He was prepping their hearts to have Christ unfolded by way of revelation; which comes from the Father, by way of the Holy Spirit. In John 10:9, Christ defines himself as the door and He further defines the purpose of the door, it must be entered.
In the Book of Revelation, look what it says to us in chapter four: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was OPENED IN HEAVEN: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with; which said, COME UP HITHER, AND I WILL SHEW THEE THINGS WHICH MUST HE HEREAFTER. In order for us to respond to the questions, we must be open to the invitation to know, to discover, to have Christ unveiled unto us. Peter was taken up to a place in a matter of seconds to hear the voice of the Father say in his spirit that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.
Religion stands in the way of our ability to hear, it stands blocking the door (The Christ within), and keeping the mystery of the inner Christ locked up within us. The day is come, and now is, when we must hear the WARRING TRUMPET, sound forth the invitation to come into a realm of discovery to not only know Christ the door, but to enter INTO HIM.
There is more to Jesus Christ than His accomplishments upon the earth; we must press in ever so intently to hear the voice of the son invite us TO KNOW HIM IN THE POWER OF HIS RESSURRECTION! We are called to have intimate fellowship with Christ, for not only is he a door, we are doors as well, and we must be entered; even as we must enter; because Christ wants to sup with us.
Jesus is the bridge between God the Father and mankind, and through our comprehension of the Christ, we are presented with the opportunity to know a real, vibrant, life changing, fulfilling Jesus, not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have KNOWN CHRIST after the flesh, yet now henceforth KNOW WE HIM NO MORE” (II Cor.15:16). Precious heart, please hear in the spirit what Paul is saying. Christ did not come so we could celebrate Easter, and Christmas, Christ came to be revealed first individually in a person and then, collectively, within and through a people.
Possessing intellectual knowledge of Jesus Christ will not change us, it will not fulfill us, and it will not empower us to be as He is in this present world (I John 4:17). Having an intellectual view of Jesus will not turn the heart towards the Father!
Christ is come to unfold His life in us, to us and through us!
Knowing Jesus Christ through religious practices deprives the believer of having an intimate relationship with Him. Religions all over the world are comprised of ways and methods, and yet the participants are no happier in their expression. Christ freed us from a great many things, to enable us to be partakers of a BETTER COVENANT. Through the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit, we are given opportunities to press beyond the fleshly veil of Jesus Christ and see Him, experience Him and to know Him for who He truly is: Christ, the Son of the Living God!
Do you believe Christ wants to reveal himself to you?
How Has Christ Been Revealed To You?
What are some the ways Christ has revealed Himself:
- To you?
- Through you?
- Within you?
Your life in Christ should be filled expectation, because after all, the Kingdom of God is Now!
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