by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Don’t Leave Jesus Behind (2 of 4)
Series: Jesus Has Questions
Jeff Strite
Matthew 16:13-23

OPEN: The warship had just returned from a tour oversees and the young ensign shown himself to be responsible and efficient. Because of that he was given the opportunity to take command of the ship as it made its out to sea again.
As the ship was to pull away from the dock, the ensign gave a series of crisp commands, and before long he had the decks buzzing with men. The ship left port and began steaming out of the channel. The ensign’s efficiency had been remarkable.
In fact, the deckhands began to proudly acknowledge that he had set a new record for getting a destroyer under way. The ensign glowed with pride and was not all that surprised when another seaman approached him with a message from the captain.
He read the following message:
“My personal congratulations upon completing this exercise according to the book and with amazing speed. In you haste, however, you have overlooked one of the unwritten rules of seafaring – make sure the captain is on board before leaving the dock.”

APPLY: Had that ensign meant to leave the captain at the dock?…. No!
He had been so preoccupied with his own agenda, and what had to be done, that he just didn’t give the captain a second thought.

The story told in Matthew 16 tells of a time toward the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. His last journey to Jerusalem is at hand, and he will soon face the horrors of the cross. Over the past 3 1/2 years, His disciples they have observed Jesus as He
... taught and preached
... healed the lame the sick and the blind
... cast out demons
... and raised the dead

But – in spite of all this – the disciples weren’t quite sure WHO this Jesus was.
They knew He was a great teacher, a healer, a prophet equal to any in the Old Testament… but they had never really talked about who Jesus was before this.
So when Jesus asked His disciples to tell him who OTHER people said He ...

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