Key Passage: Matthew 16:13-20
Key Text: Matthew 16:17-18 – Blessed are you, Simon Bar- Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter
The power of a role model in a person’s life can never be underestimated. We invariably try to emulate people we respect or admire and subconsciously begin to measure ourselves against the standards we feel they have set. We also tend to reflect the personalities of people we hang out with and what they like or don’t like influences us. This is called “herd mentality”. This is not a bad thing, provided the people we are trying to copy are the right people for us, and they would not influence us for evil.
But truthfully, the best role models in this world are still fallible humans, full of weaknesses and flaws. Sometimes, if you get the opportunity to get close up with that admired role model, you may be shocked at what you would discover. It can be painfully devastating when you see your ‘role model’ warts and all.
This is why God never clones people. We are all made unique. There is no one else like you and no one can be you. So you cannot be someone else. God made you fearfully and wonderfully and He threw away the mould, so He would never make another person like you. Even identical twins have some differences that make them unique.
So I hear you ask me, how do I become the best me, God made me to be? This is where today’s passage comes in. Jesus asked His disciples, who men said He is. They gave various answers, all wrong. Then He asked His disciples, who they say He is. Peter in a moment of divine inspiration, declared you are the Christ, (the Messiah) the Son of the Living God. Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar- Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter’.
Jesus first affirmed that His true identity could only be revealed by God in heaven. Secondly, that though Simon had an earthly identity, the true identity is that which is revealed in Heaven, in this case Peter. (By the way Simon means a reed, that is one that can be blown around by the wind. Peter means a stone, solid and compact and stable.) Finally, that because He has received the revelation of who Jesus is, Simon would be transformed into Peter.
Consequently, our true identities can only be revealed from Heaven, by our Father. He created us, so he alone truly knows us. So we need to seek His face to know who we really are. Secondly, as we get a closer and more accurate knowledge of Jesus, we also begin to get a more accurate knowledge of who we are. Lastly, the more of Jesus we see, the more we are empowered to be the real us. This is so amazing. This is the grace of God.
How liberating it is to know that you do not have to be like anyone else. Today, please be released from the bondage of trying to be a clone of someone or match someone’s achievements or personality. Get your identity from Jesus and guess what? He is the only role model that is perfect and has no warts!!!! The closer you get, the more amazed you become.
Let’s pray: Father God, today I ask you to help me to be released from the weight of trying to be someone else, other than who you have made me. Father, please reveal to me who you have made me to be. Give me a much clearer view of Jesus, so I can see who I am supposed to be. Finally Father, give me the grace to be transformed into the image of Christ that I am supposed to reflect. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.