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Jesus-Centered Life youth devotion no.15

The First Question

That Really Matters

What’s your life’s purpose? The answer to that BIG question is buried, like a priceless treasure, in a remarkable conversation between Jesus and his disciples as they road-tripped through Caesarea Philippi (described in Matthew 16). After another tough encounter with the conniving Pharisees, followed by another frustrating conversation with his confused disciples, Jesus does something shockingly humble. He asks his disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And his nervous disciples throw out: “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

And here’s Jesus at his most vulnerable: “But who do you say that I am?”

Have you ever asked your friends, “What do you think of me, really?” If you have, you know it takes guts to ask such an honest question. And it takes even more courage to listen to the response, if it’s also honest. In this case, Peter answers: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This is why Peter is such a heroic figure in the Bible—he steps up in an awkward moment and proclaims the truth about who Jesus really is. But the most important thing to pay attention to is Jesus’ original question: “Who do you say I am?” This is one of two questions that will lead you to your life’s purpose, if you’ll pursue it in a new way, every day.

Living It Out

Getting decent grades. Seems important enough.

Being a loyal friend. Seems important enough.

Going to church. Seems important enough.

Always trying your best. Seems important enough.

In fact, almost every adult in your life would be completely overjoyed if you excelled at those four basic, fairly important, things! And Jesus would be overjoyed right alongside them. But he’s WAY more interested in how you would answer the same question he asked his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?”

Peter gives the perfect answer, but what does it really mean? And this leads to another question:

What does it really mean to you?

Matthew 18...Who do you say I am?