Will the Real Messiah Please Stand Up

Passage:Matthew 16:21-28

Preacher: Ben Phillips

Category: Messiah

We continue to work our way through Matthew 16, a pivotal chapter in the gospel. In last week's reading and sermon Jesus asks the all important question, "Who do you say that I am?". Peter's declaration that Jesus is in fact the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of the Living God, while spot on, is immediately followed by another question of great importance, what kind of Christ is Jesus? In today's reading (Matthew 16:21-28) Jesus begins to teach his disciples that he must suffer and die and be raised again. Peter's reaction this time is not so spot on. People who declare Jesus to be the Christ tend to then fall into one of two ways of approaching Jesus. They either try to conform him to their image and expectations, or they allow Jesus to speak for himself and thus be conformed into his image. In today's sermon we will explore how we tend to want to conform Jesus to be and be like the Christ we would prefer him to be, rather than having his revealed nature as Christ and Messiah change and shape us.