Our Names for Jesus, His Names for Us

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Summer in the Psalms is a sermon and written reflection series based on the weekly Psalm and associated readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. 

Guest writer: Mary Lynn Errigo

READ

Matthew 16:13-20

REFLECT

In this passage in Matthew, the disciples are walking with Jesus every day. They watch everything He does and they listen closely to all His words and His teachings. They experience the compassion He has for people, and His willingness to heal them as He goes from place to place. They feel the love and forgiveness that He passes on to each and every person He encounters.

And then Jesus asks them, “Who do people say that I am?” When Peter answers that he believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus tells Peter that he didn’t get this knowledge from the people or the things he has seen, but from God. God, our Father, is so intimately concerned about what we know and how we learn it, that He tells us the things we need to know. Our Father in heaven loves us so much that He wants to tell us things about Himself: things that will bless us, things that will cause us to learn more about Him, things that will heal us, things that will comfort us. Everything we need to know comes from God, and it is His great pleasure to communicate with us.

Peter needed God to tell him the truth about who Jesus was, but he also needed to hear the truth about himself. Jesus responded to Peter by telling him who he was: the church’s rock, the keeper of the keys of heaven. These are truths that came straight from God, truths Peter could never have arrived at on his own. He needed Jesus to tell him, to give him a new identity and purpose and a destiny he could not have imagined.

RESPOND

The Bible tells us that Jesus has many names: Messiah. Savior. Healer. Comforter. King. Lord. Teacher. Author and Finisher of our faith. Advocate. Shepherd. (You can find a longer list of the names of Jesus here.) As you pray today, do you sense any particular name that resonates with you and your emotions and circumstances at this moment? Let Jesus speak to you, through the Holy Spirit, about who He is to you today.

Now, ask Jesus to tell you something about yourself that you may not know, or may need to be reminded of. What is Jesus’ name for you? What role does he have for you in His Kingdom?

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