Who Do You say He is?
Courage From Seeing Jesus Rightly
By: Bethany Hicks
It doesn’t take a P.H.D. to discern that this generation is having an identity crisis. And while every generation must overcome their own giants of false identity, it would seem the identity assault happening today is disproportionately more aggressive than what we have seen in times past. Sometimes, it takes courage to just wake up and not be swept up in the worldly narrative of the day. As believers with a divine mandate to conquer the forces of darkness and advance God's kingdom, it is vital to grasp this timeless truth: Your perception of Jesus unleashes courage.
Why is this so crucial? Because what you see in Jesus sparks the flames of bravery within you. When we witness, experience and are transformed by the multifaceted nature of Jesus it infuses us with an unwavering and supercharged courage that renders His Body unstoppable. Even our adversary is keenly aware of this reality, which is why he exerts every effort to rob, devastate, or obliterate our identities. He understands that what we see in Jesus will manifest in and through us, and when that transformation occurs, his days are numbered.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it's easy to overlook the profound impact our beliefs can have on our courage and confidence. The first book of the New Testament reveals a pivotal moment in the life of Peter, one of Jesus' closest disciples that provides strategic clues for each of us on how courage is apprehended.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus poses a question that would forever alter the lives of His disciples. While the crowds were comparing Jesus to a prophet like John the Baptist or Elijah, Jesus was not interested in what other people’s opinions were. He wanted to know how His disciples personally saw and thus related to Him.
Matthew 16:15-16: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter's answer, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," carries immense weight. It's a declaration that goes beyond mere acknowledgment; it's a profound revelation. This revelation transformed Peter's perspective, igniting a newfound courage and confidence within him.
The Power in a Name
To grasp the significance of Peter's confession, we must delve briefly into the power of a name. In the New Testament, the Greek word for "name," "onoma," encompasses more than mere identification. It embodies everything that the name represents – the thoughts, feelings, and authority tied to it.
God has ordained that a person's name will delineate the boundaries of their identity, responsibility and authority. In most cultures, a newborn child adopts the last name of their father, and Jesus Himself received His name from His Heavenly Father (Matt. 1:21). Every name given by God unveils identity and destiny. In the case of Jesus, God's intention was profound, for His name signifies "Jehovah is salvation." The name of Jesus spoke to both His identity as the Savior of the world and His destiny to bring salvation to all of mankind.
When Peter acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, this marked a revolutionary shift in understanding. Peter understood that Jesus wasn't merely a prophet or a wise teacher. He recognized Jesus as the Messiah, the very Son of the living God, the Savior of the world, and this revelation had profound implications for his courage.
Courage to See
Fast forward a few years, after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to Heaven, we see the domino effect of how this personal revelation of Jesus as Savior and Lord transformed the lives of Peter and John. For context, they had just been taken as prisoners and brought before the Jewish council to be questioned on why they were preaching about Jesus. Listen to the response from the perspective of the Jewish leaders:
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
These fishermen were transformed from ordinary to extraordinary, because of their association with Jesus. This transformation was apparent to all who saw them, even those who were resisting their message. Their courage was conspicuous to all who encountered them.
Seeing Jesus rightly infuses us with the courage to navigate life's challenges. Just as Peter and John's courage stood out, our courage can be exceptional when we rightly perceive Jesus and who He is currently revealing Himself to be.
The Dangers of a Wrong View
Just as a right view of Jesus can catapult us into courage, conversely, a wrong view of Jesus can undermine our courage. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:24-25 illustrates how a servant's negative perception of his master affected his actions. Seeing the master as harsh led to fear and a lack of courage, ultimately resulting in burying his talent. Similarly, Judas the Betrayer’s limited revelation of Jesus as a mere teacher and not as His Lord contributed to his betrayal. A distorted view of Jesus can lead to a ripple effect of cowardice.
It's About Knowing Him
It's easy to feel pressured to have all the answers before taking action. But action is needed if we are going to advance the Kingdom of God. However, courage isn't born from having all the answers; it's born from knowing Him. In times of uncertainty, we can echo the sentiment in 2 Chronicles 20:12, "We don't know what to do but our eyes are on you.” You don’t have to know all the answers. You just need to be thoroughly convinced of who Jesus is revealing Himself to be uniquely and allow that truth to fuel you with the courage necessary to act.
Who Do You Say He Is
In the end, Jesus isn't concerned about what others say about Him; He wants to know who you say He is. Your perception of Him shapes your courage. Like Peter, when you see Jesus rightly, your courage will soar.
So, take a moment to reflect on your own perception of Jesus. Embrace the transformative power of seeing Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God. What does that really mean to you? What are the benefits of Jesus being your Savior, your Provider, Your Defender, and so much more? As you unpack these revelations, you'll find the courage to face life's challenges head-on, unshaken and resolute. And, this courage will be catalytic in bringing identity to a world desperate to know who Jesus says they are.
Bethany Hicks is an international speaker, author and prophetic trainer who serves as Co-Founder of Prophetic Company Global. Known for her exceptional communication skills, she passionately imparts grace to inspire people to embrace their world-changing potential.