Revelation

 

Revelation

In Matthew 16 we read a significant passage of scripture that could affect our lives if we allow the Holy Spirit to open the truths within it. 

"When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who are the people saying I am?"  "Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; some, Jeremiah or one of the other prophets."  Then he asked them, "Who do you think I am?" Simon Peter answered, "The Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God."  "God has blessed you, Simon, son of Jonah," Jesus said, "for my Father in heaven has personally revealed this to you—this is not from any human source. You are Peter, a stone; and upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it"" (16:13-18 TLB). 

Let me unpack this story just a little to help us. Jesus was trying to find out what people were saying about Him. The disciples told Him that there were those who thought Him a bit eccentric or too radical like John the Baptist. Others saw Him as a miracle worker like Elijah. Still others saw Him as a spokesperson for God, like Jeremiah. Jesus turns the tables on His disciples and says - what about you?

Peter is the first and only one to respond when He says you are the Christ or the anointed one - the Messiah - the Son of the Living God! Jesus blesses Peter as a result of this statement, and goes on to elaborate on what Peter had just said. Jesus points out that this statement was a revelation Peter had received from the Father and it was on revelation that the Church would be built. 

Let me illustrate it with a story that happened a few years ago. Charles had been attending the church with his family who were committed Christians for quite some time. Towards the close of the meeting it was obvious that he was troubled. One day we had a conversation with him about opening his life to the Holy Spirit of God. He just wasn't too sure because it seemed such an easy thing for anyone to do. After a brief explanation with him - we had the privilege of leading him to surrender his life to Christ. Afterwards he was rejoicing in his new-found faith and freedom, having realised that it was easy and very real!

Revelation is where the Holy Spirit reveals truth to the hearts of the people of God - truths that are normally concealed and cannot be had from natural learning. In 1 Corinthians 2:10 we read, "But we know about these things because God has sent his Spirit to tell us, and his Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets" (NIV). God is eternal and knows all things, and many of these things He wants to make known to us so that we might benefit from them in one way or another. A number of years ago we had a visitor who had invented a machine that was helping people all over the world. He sold the patent and every so often the company would invite him to visit some of the places where this machine was operating. What was also amazing was that this was something the man claimed to have developed out of his walk and relationship with Jesus.

Earlier on in Jesus' life, the scriptures tell us of Simeon who had the truth that the Messiah had come, because God had revealed it to him beforehand. Yet there were many people who knew the scriptures and were looking out for the Messiah and failed to recognise Him when He came, because they were looking for someone of their own imagination. 

The scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit is our teacher and will teach us all things (Jn 14:26). Now that the Holy Spirit lives inside every believer, His revelation will come from within and speak to our hearts, which in turn influences our mind. Natural learning and revelation comes from outside and is stored up in our minds. This is dependent upon a person using their own skills, abilities and education in order to receive learning while Revelation Knowledge is dependent upon a person being open to the teaching and instruction of the Holy Spirit. This is far superior to one's natural abilities, after all the scriptures instruct us not to rely and depend upon our own understanding, but to trust God (Prov 3:5-6).