Who Do You Say That I Am?

Jonathan Brownson

READ : Matthew 16:13–18

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (v. 15)

Who do you pray to?

It’s 5:30 a.m. Sarah and John, my Korean partners on this trip, sit a few rows ahead of me at my first early-morning prayer meeting. There are racks in the entry way where you leave your shoes and pick up Korean slippers. So with slippers on I step up into the room and on to higher, holier ground.

I feel compelled to kneel during the entire service. I want to get lower than the speaker and audience because I feel lower—a true assessment of spiritual stature. Pastor Ko graciously announces the Scripture passage in English, so I meditate on Matthew 16:13–20.

I wonder: Who do Koreans say that Jesus is? But what about you, Jonathan? “Who do you say that I am?”

I am in Korea because God wants me to know what others believe. Still, God will build on my confession the way God does on Peter’s. What I believe about Jesus will do more to shape my church than anything else.

God builds not on flesh and blood but on breathings of the Spirit. His rock is confession, not construction. Perhaps that is why most daily corporate prayer in Korea starts with a confession of faith using the Apostles’ Creed. Believing in the heart and confessing with our lips opens the doors of heaven and puts the keys to the kingdom into our hands.

PRAYER

Start your prayer today with the words: “Jesus, I say that you are . . .”