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Who do you say that I am?

August 27, 2017

Sermon, New Life, Dripping Springs, Texas

August 27, 2017

Carmen Retzlaff


Matt. 16:13 ¶ Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 

Matt. 16:14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 

Matt. 16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 

Matt. 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 

Matt. 16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 

Matt. 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 

Matt. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 

Matt. 16:20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. 


Preparing a sermon this week on this text - this famous conversation between Peter and Jesus - was curious. On my mind as I thought about Jesus and his friends walking in Cesarea Philippi and asking the big question about who Jesus was, was the background weather news feed, praying for safety of our neighbors in Corpus Christi and all along the coast, and wondering what Sunday morning would bring for us here, at an outdoor church in Central Texas. Would we be here at all? Or would lightning be in the area, and a tent too dangerous? Would we be battling raging winds? Would flooding make driving to church dangerous for many? 


After Word & Wine Bible study, Mike and I stopped at HEB. Thursday was a nice, but muggy day. Very still. And HEB was, of course, hopping. Water shelves were stripped bare with signs on them to go to the register to get a rationed amount of bottled water. We worry. 


The question of this famous exchange, is “Who do you say that I am?” And it is famous because it is the question, from that day until this, for Peter and everyone else who has followed Jesus after him. 


In the midst of preparations for weathering a hurricane, the answer seems to be “I say you are God. You are the one who brings rain and sunshine and lovely days, and you are the God of floods and storms and earthquakes, too. The awesome God - in that frightening aspect of awe- in that way that reminds