I was recently watching a sitcom called 'The West Wing' and one of the lines went like this:
Administrative assistant to the White House asks: "How many words are in the Gettysberg Address?"
The Speech writer for the president says: "266"
Administrative Assistant asks: "How many words are in the Ten Commandments?"
Speech writer says: "173"
Administrative assistant says: "So you really wouldn't think you'd need 6,000 words to discover how a plane ticket gets reimbursed would you?"
Speech Writer: "No you wouldn't."
We do have a way of complicating things very quickly. Nothing appears to be as simple as it should be in this world. Everyone has motivations that color our perspective. Everyone has a filter that they process things through. And on top of all of this we have a sin problem. And this problem has left us dead in our sins (Ephesians 2) and spiritually blind and deaf to the truth pertaining to God.
In this text, Jesus and His disciples arrive in Philippi and Jesus asks them two questions. First, He asks them, "Who do men say that the Son of Man is?" Surly we are not expecting unanimity in their response. One name will not do. The disciples give many answers to this question. Some say John the Baptist, others say Jeremiah, Elijah, or one of the other prophets. That last answer leaves the door wide open doesn't it - "one of the other prophets". Notice that Jesus is nowhere mentioned in this list. He did not make the short list and He may not even be on the long list of possibilities. This is sad considering that all of these men mentioned spoke of Christ and pointed to Jesus by the Spirit (Luke 22).
Then Jesus asks them another question, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replies, "You are the Christ, Son of the Living God." The disciples all seem to be in agreement about this.
Peter has been able to see through all of the confusion surrounding public opinion about the 'Son of Man' and he knows that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus makes clear as to how this has happened. He says, "For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." It is as a result of the soverign Lord that clarity and salvation comes to a person. It is the Lord that can break through all the confusing facts that we think we know about God and grant unto us eyes that can see the Lord and obtain salvation.
For having arrived at such an understanding of who Jesus is, Peter is called blessed. Indeed he was blessed to have Jesus Christ revealed to him. And what did Peter do with this little bit of light that shone into his dark heart? Peter spent the rest of his life pursing a greater understanding of God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son. Consider 2 Peter 1:2 for example, "May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord." He continues in verse three, "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through te knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.,,"
John Flavel says, "A saving, though immathodical knowledge of Christ, can bring us to heaven (John 17:2) but a regular and methodical, as well as a saving knowledge of Him will bring heaven into us (Colossians 2:2-3)."
Do I have a saving immathodical faith or a faith and knowledge that makes grace and peace about towards me?