Something very profound happened during the days Jesus walked the earth. He and his disciples had been through different times and seasons together and so it got to a specific point when Jesus wanted to have a kind of feedback or report from the disciples as per who they have perceived him to be over time.
He needed to do a kind of survey to know what the disciples have perceived him to be after all the interactions, partnership, and intimacy they have claimed to have with him over time. This was very necessary for our Lord Jesus to do because he understood the power of perception. He knows that intimacy and relationship is not enough if the parties involved do not come to give an accurate perception of each other. Just like a man can not be working with a set of people for a long time and do not know what his workers think and feel about him. It’s going to be a wide depth of disaster. Why? Their perceptions about their boss determines the team spirit and even also how much they can stand and tarry anytime there is a battle against their boss.
The First Question
Therefore, Jesus called his disciples that specific day and ask, “Who do men say I, the Son of Man am?” (Matthew 16:13 NKJV). This first question was fashioned to the disciples just to know if they have been able to grow enough discernment to decipher the perception that men have towards Jesus. Jesus knew that with the level of closeness they have with the people out there, they should be able to detect the perception of the people towards him. And fortunately, they were able to decipher the people’s perception. So they told him, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14 NKJV).
But despite the fact that the perceptions of people were very wrong and not aligned, yet, you will discover that Jesus had no business trying to correct their perceptions. He simply ignored it and asked the disciples themselves.
This was because, it is very normal for people to have different perceptions about you. The crowd will always have different things to say. The illumination of a man’s true identity will always be darkened to the crowd! This is why, great men don’t care what people say about them. It is because people can not truly see them the way they are. They will always call them different things and names. So, Jesus was not bothered. He only faced the disciples!
The Second Question
He knew the perceptions of the disciples matters more in this matter. And if at least none of them can have a good and the best perception about him, then it is a serious failure! Even if the people have no better revelation of Him, the disciples that have been called to follow him must have it! So he asked them, “But, who do you say that I am”?
And guess what, the first attempt from just one of them was apt and competent. Peter spoke first and he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Flesh and Blood
It was a very great relief for Jesus that even the first attempt was correct. And when he had discerned the source of his attempt, he said, “Flesh and blood have not revealed this but my father who is in heaven”. Peter was able to deliver the right perception by revelation!
And then Jesus said something very profound in the next verse; “And I say to you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”. (Matthew 16:18)
Jesus gave a powerful word indirectly that a time is coming when it will seem as if the power of hades and darkness will fight so much against the church. A time when there will be so many rages and attempt from darkness to defeat the power of the church. A time when there will be massive onslaught and invasion of darkness against the called-out ones (the church) by different instrumentalities of hell!
But he gave a beautiful assurance of victory, He said the gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail against it.
But is this going to happen on a platter of gold? No, definitely no. It came with a condition and the only condition He gave is that as long as the church is BUILT upon “this rock”, there is an assurance of victory. What was that rock, it’s talking about REVELATION! The same revelation that Peter had!
As long as the church is built on that revelation, there is hope for the survival of the rages of darkness against the church!
Remember, the Bible says something in the book of Psalm 127:1
that “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain those what builds it!”
This is to tell us that “building” is of the LORD! If something will be built and stand the wave of life and darkness, GOD has to be the builder.
So Jesus was telling us that He will build his church and the gates of hell won’t be able to defeat it if the church can come under the very ambiance of HIS REVELATION!
And what was the revelation Peter had, it was the revelation of JESUS. The Revelation of His Person encapsulated in two dimensions. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God”!
Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God
These are the two powerful revelations that the Church must come into if we are going to survive the wave and the tides of darkness coming.
We must first understand the revelation of Jesus as the CHRIST! This cuts across Him as our savior (which is the way we came into the kingdom) and our Lord! Coming into the revelation of “Jesus as the Lord” is one of the problems we have in the body now. This is talking about Jesus being the Lord of All! Coming under his Lordship and government! Until we have come to the revelation of government and kingdom, we can’t truly stand the tides of darkness coming.
We can’t just know him as our savior, we must know him as the LORD! We must come under the ambiance of His Lordship. That point when we submit totally our will, life, ambitions, passions, strengths, achievements, and all. This is the first revelation we must come into and not just come into but to live out!
The second is, Jesus as the son of the living God! This is talking about our identity in God as related to what Christ has done and achieved for us! Sincerely, if we don’t come into the fullness of our identity in these last days, many will fall at the very roaring of darkness! Many will not stand because they have failed to understand what and who Christ has made them!
The gates of hell will and is roaring against the church in these last days but according to the word of Jesus, we have a hope of victory. In fact, He has won the battle for us and has given us victory but in the very chronicles of reality, the church will only stand when she collides with the REVELATION of His Person and perpetually dwell there!
We must come under his Lordship and come to understand His different dimensions and the office of the Christ! And finally we must come to the revelation of our identity in Him!
We must first come to know our identity well and relate with it and then we must be schooled in the revelation of Him as the Christ by coming under His government and kingdom!
For the church in these last days, if it’s not revelation, it is a relegation!
If it is not kingdom, it is no survival!
If it is not submission, it is no victory
If it is not an authentic identity, it is no defense!
Revelation- The Church’s hope for survival.