The Gospel Lesson at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Runge on Aug. 24 was read from the 16th chapter of Matthew verses 13-20 by Pastor Randal Bruno. Verses 16-20: Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Pastor Bruno began the sermon with the question of what is the most important question that you have ever been asked. There are always lots of questions that are important as who will you marry? Where will you live? What job will you do? All are important questions, but Jesus asked his disciples the most important question and it dealt with eternity and it comes with a gift that is given to billions of people. Jesus asked, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter, the ever questioning, ever seeking, sometimes stumbling disciple of Jesus answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God".
Peter, the fisherman, had dropped his nets and followed Jesus and he had learned and thought it through. He knew who Jesus was. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God".
In Acts chapter 7, one reads of Saul who was persecuting Christians and placing them in prison and killing them. In Acts chapter 9 we read that as Saul traveled to Damascus to carry out more of his persecution campaign against anyone who believed in Christ, he was confronted by the risen Christ and brought face to face with the truth of the gospel. Saul now called Paul refers to this experience as the start of his new life in Christ. Paul acknowledged Jesus as Lord, confessed his own sins, surrendered his life to Christ, and resolved to obey him. Paul was transformed by God from a persecutor of Christians to a preacher for Christ who preached for Christ throughout the Roman empire on three missionary trips and wrote letters to various churches, which became part of the New Testament.
If asked this most important question "But who do you say that I am?" What would you answer?
Heavenly Father, open all eyes, ears, and hearts to say who Jesus Christ, Savior is and then confess it with lips and lives. Amen.
Sunday morning worship services at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Runge begin at 8:30 a.m. followed by fellowship and Adult Bible Study. In September, Sunday School, women's Bible study on Wednesday mornings, and 3rd Thursday Fellowship will resume. Come and worship.