In Matthew's Gospel (Mt. 16:13-20) we
are told that when Jesus is in the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asks his
disciples the question, "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt. 16:15). Simon
Peter responds, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Mt. 16:16).
Jesus then calls Simon blessed because it is the Heavenly Father who has
revealed Jesus' true identity to Simon. Again, we note that it is the
Father who reveals the truth of identity. For, "no one knows the Son except
the Father" (Mt.11:27).
The Father has given Peter "a spirit
of wisdom and revelation" (see Eph. 1:17) to recognize Jesus' true identity,
and the gift of faith to believe Jesus to be the Father's Son. Peter is the
recipient of the Father's gracious will: "Father...these things...you have
revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your
gracious will" (Mt. 11:25,26). One can say that this gracious will of
the Father is related to His great and astonishing love spoken of in 1John
3: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us" (1 John 3:1). Each is an
unmerited gift of the Father's love, mercy and kindness towards us, and only
the childlike of heart are open to receive these. True children of God are
childlike and it pleases the Father to give them revelation. The
childlike are those whose hearts reflect most closely the heart of Jesus. No
one can penetrate to the 'heart' of the mystery of who Jesus really is except
the Spirit Whom the Father gives as a gift. Nor for that matter can anyone on
his own penetrate to the 'heart' of one's own true identity. Rather, it must be
revealed by the Father in the Spirit.
The Father is also the One who gives each
of us the gift of faith. Faith is first of all a "heart gift": "One believes
with the heart" (Rom. 10:10). St. Paul tells the Ephesians, "For this reason I
kneel before the Father ...that he may grant you...to be strengthened with
power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in
your hearts through faith" (Eph. 3:14,16,17). One is "empowered by faith"
(see Rom. 4:20). This gift of empowerment comes when one accepts the truth of
who Jesus truly is: "To those who did accept him he gave power to become
children of God" (John 1:12); and, "Through faithyou are all
children of God in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26). It gives the Father great joy
when we choose to invite Jesus into our hearts. True children of God are
those who allow Jesus to enter into our inmost being through faith. When we
allow "Love" to enter in and make his 'home' within our hearts, we are awakened
to our true identity. Only a true heart can hold a true identity.
is the most recent revelation that the Father has given me from His 'gracious
in my life do I still need growth into a more childlike interior disposition?
Any scripture from the text; John 6:69; 2 Cr. 5:7; Gal. 2:20;
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