Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, He asked them, “Who do the crouds say I am? But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Peter answered: ”God’s Messiah.” (Luke 9:18)
Confession means sincerity
"I don't need to go to church to be a Christian." "I'm a Christian because I go to church every week." It may sound strange to hear, but those two statements are pretty close to each other. They are similar in that both look at being a Christian as just some segment of one's life. The first sees Christianity as simply a personal matter with no bearing on a person's public life. The second sees Christianity as merely a matter of what is done publicly on Sunday mornings. Both are wrong.
The verses that we will look at this week deal with confessing faith in Jesus. We will hear Peter's bold confession that Jesus is the Christ of God. We will listen to the Savior urge us to take up our crosses each day and follow him. From such things it is abundantly clear that confessing our faith is very much a public matter, something that we do before the people around us.
Today, however, we hear the setting for this conversation between Jesus and his disciples. We are told what Jesus was doing in private. He was praying. And his disciples were there too, undoubtedly praying as well. Even away from the crowds, Jesus was doing exactly what we would expect someone who claimed to be the Savior sent from God doing--talking to the Father who sent him. We find the disciples doing privately what we could expect of men who claimed that Jesus was the Savior sent from God--being close to that Savior. They didn't put on a good show around others and then indulge themselves in private. They lived sincerely.
What does your life confess? Does it proclaim that your faith is merely one part of who you are? Or is it a consistent confession of your confidence in Jesus? Let your private failings find forgiveness in him who privately prayed for strength to redeem you. Let your public failings find forgiveness in him who publicly died to redeem you. In him you will find the strength to let your entire life be a confession of faith.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times when I hide my faith in you and fail to confess
you with my life. Strengthen me so that I may always live my hope in you. Amen.
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