Monthly Archives: September 2014

A Week in the Word, September 28 – October 4


Theme: Christian Living — Evangelism

For many Christians, the initial response to the term “evangelism” is negative. It conjures up emotions of inadequacy, guilt, failure, embarrassment, and a few others. If such is the case—or maybe we should say “when,” not “if”— it is indicative of the fact that Satan has been quite effective in his work.

After all, at its core, evangelism is sharing good news.  What could (should) be more natural and simple?  That’s not how we tend to think about it, though.

From another vantage point, our Master’s parting charge was to evangelize.  If we, as His body, have relegated evangelism to any place other than the highest priority something is surely amiss—and it is.  Again, Satan’s opposition and his effectiveness in implementing it are evident.

Perhaps it is time to step back, clear our minds, and once again be impressed by God’s word with this critical theme.  Maybe some old ways of thinking, attitudes, and conclusions need to be freshly replaced with God’s own expressed will.  If what we are thinking is negative and if our response is one of reluctance then change is in order. Nothing is more effective to affect change than God’s word.

The place to begin is understanding the place to begin.  To the surprise of many, that place is not with the Great Commission.  The Bible is not a book that happens to record Jesus’ instruction to make disciples of all the nations.  Rather, that command is but one expression of a theme that is the overall current running throughout the Bible from start to finish.  If we start at Matthew 28 and Mark 16, we are already far behind, very far.


Readings and Introductory Comments 

Genesis 3:14-16; 12:1-3; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 26:19-23

Two principles are laid out very early in the Bible.  It is the carrying out of these two principles of which the remainder of the Bible is the record and explanation.  The first of these is the victory of God over the antagonism of Satan against His plan.  In the aftermath of the debacle in the Garden, God said that the woman’s seed would be the victor—through suffering (He would be bruised)—over the serpent (Gen. 3:15).

The second principle is found in the great promise made to Abraham.  To him it was promised that the blessing that would come through his seed (notice “seed” in both of these instances) was to extend to all families of the earth (Gen. 12:3).

Both Jesus and Paul state that not only is the Savior’s suffering, death, and resurrection an Old Testament message, but so also is the proclamation of the good news of salvation to all people (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 26:22-23). It’s tragically ironic that both of these were lost on 1st century Judaism.

Mark 1:35-39; Luke 8:1-3; Mark 1:16-20; Matthew 9:35-38; 10:1-42; 24:14; 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16

Preaching and teaching dominate the ministry of Jesus—that is, evangelism.  It even took priority over healing the sick.  He recruited and trained others to do the same. Of course, His parting charge to His disciples was to continue the work He came to do.

Acts 8:4-8; 11:19-26; 13:1-14:28; 19:1-20; 3 John

The history that is the book of Acts focuses on Jesus’ instructions being followed.  His disciples went everywhere preaching and teaching the gospel message. The little letter of 3 John provides some interesting insight into people devoted to spreading the gospel and how they were supported in that work

Romans 10:5-17; 15:7-12, 14-16; 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; 2 Corinthians 4:7-15; 5:11-6:13

Paul’s letters say much about salvation’s message being spread.  He speaks of how those who might call on the Lord’s name for salvation must first hear that word, how Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, how he was willing to become all things to all men for the sake of the gospel, how this great treasure of salvation’s message was entrusted to weak and feeble men, and how his was a ministry of reconciliation to God. Evangelism was never far from the mind and heart of Paul.

Mark 5:18-20; John 1:40-42, 43-51; Philemon 4-6

On its simplest level, evangelism is caring people sharing God’s love with those whom they love.  So Scripture tells of Jesus sending a healed man to his own family and friends to tell what He had done (Mark 5), men, who having been introduced to Jesus, going to their own brothers to tell what they have found (John 1), and individuals sharing their faith with others (Philemon).  Evangelism is not the concern only of apostles and missionaries and preachers.


Study/Thought Questions: 

Genesis 3:14-16

  • What would the serpent do to the woman’s seed? (v. 15)
  • What would the woman’s seed do to the serpent? (v. 15)

Genesis 12:1-3

  • Whom did God intend to be blessed through Abraham (v. 3)

Luke 24:44-49

  • Who wrote about Jesus? (v. 44)
  • What else was written that should happen? (v. 47)

Acts 26:19-23

  • To whom was the message of Christ to be delivered? (v. 23)

Mark 1:35-39

  • What did Jesus say needed to be done next when it was suggested He return to the waiting multitude? (v. 38)

Luke 8:1-3

  • What did Jesus do in the cities and villages where He went? (v. 1)

Mark 1:16-20

  • What did Jesus propose to make of Simon and Andrew? (v. 17)

Matthew 9:35-38

  • For what did Jesus say to pray? (v. 38)  Why? (v. 37)

Matthew 10:1-42

  • To whom did Jesus send His disciples to preach? (v. 6)
  • What did He encourages His disciples to be? (v. 16)

Matthew 24:14

  • Where was the gospel of the kingdom to be proclaimed?

Matthew 28:19-20

  • From whom are disciples to be made? (v. 19)

Mark 16:15-16

  • To whom is the gospel to be proclaimed? (v. 15)

Acts 8:4-8

  • What did those who were scattered by persecution do wherever they went? (v. 4)

Acts 11:19-26

  • To whom was Jesus preached at Antioch? (v. 20)

Acts 13:1-14:28

  • Who designated Saul and Barnabas to be sent out from Antioch? (13:2)
  • What did they report that God had done through them upon their return? (14:28)

Acts 19:1-20

  • From Ephesus who heard the word of the Lord? (v. 10)
  • What happened with regard to the word of the Lord? (v. 20)

3 John

  • Whom should we support and what do we become when we do? (v. 8)

Romans 10:5-17

  • How are people to believe on Him of whom they have not heard? (v. 14)

Romans 15:7-12, 14-16

  • Who should glorify God for His mercy? (v. 9)
  • To whom was Paul a minister of Christ Jesus? (v. 16)

1 Corinthians 9:19-27

  • Why did Paul become all things to all people? (v. 22)

2 Corinthians 4:7-15

  • What do I do since I believe? (v. 13)

2 Corinthians 5:11-6:13

  • What do we do since we fear the Lord? (5:11)
  • What do we not do so that no fault be found in our ministry? (6:3)

Mark 5:18-20

  • To whom did Jesus send the healed man? (v 19). For what purpose?

John 1:40-42, 43-51

  • Whom did Andrew find first? (v. 40)

Philemon 4-6

  • What did Paul pray for Philemon? (v. 6)


Meditation Thoughts:

Why is evangelism important?

In what ways can I support the efforts of evangelism?   How can I, even if I don’t see myself as a “teacher,” engage in evangelistic activity?

It is said that if I know what to do to be saved then I know enough to teach someone else the same, do you agree?  Why or why not?


Memory Verse:

“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (2 Cor. 4:15)

A Week in the Word, September 21-27


Theme: Jesus—Our Redemptive Sacrifice 

The New Testament is not understandable without the Old Testament.  Since the New Testament is really all about Jesus, then apart from the Old Testament, we cannot know Christ.  That might sound like an overstatement, but it is not.

Jesus’ ultimate task was to save man from sin.  So, when Paul preached, his subject was “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).  But Jesus’ crucifixion can only be understood in terms of sacrifice, the sacrifice that was part of Law of Moses.

In reality, there are two primary sacrifices used as the background for Jesus’ being offered on the cross.  The first is the lamb of Passover and the second is that of the Day of Atonement.  In both the blood played a key role.  The blood of the Passover lamb was originally sprinkled on the doorposts of the Israelite homes so the death angel would pass over it on the night of the tenth plague in Egypt.  On the annual Day of Atonement the blood of the sacrifice was taken by the High Priest into the Holy of Holies as an offering for the sins of the people.

Also in connection with the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice two more important ideas are portrayed in Scripture.  One is the blood paying a price, and thus redeeming us from sin.  The second is the blood cleansing us from sin’s defilement.


Readings and Introductory Comments:

Exodus 12:1-28; Leviticus 16:1-34

These Old Testament passages are the instructions given about the observance of Passover and for the Day of Atonement.  Understanding these events and their sacrifices are the basis for understanding Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.

John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:30-35; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Revelation 5:6-12

Jesus is often depicted as a lamb.  The connection to the Passover is clear, and in 1 Corinthians 5:7 it is explicit.  It is interesting that in the book of Revelation the appearance of Jesus in this grand pageantry is as the Lamb that was slain.

Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10

Several times in the New Testament Jesus is described as the “propitiation for our sins.”  Some English translations don’t use that term, but instead say “atoning sacrifice.”  Here, too, the connection is clear.  Jesus’ atoning sacrifice is the reality of which the sacrifice of atonement from the Law of Moses is the mere shadow.

Hebrews 9:6-28; 10:1-25

Nowhere in the pages of the New Testament is the idea of Jesus being offered as the sacrifice for our sin discussed more at length than in Hebrews.  It is quite interesting in that Jesus is shown here as both the sacrifice for sin and as the High Priest who enters into the very presence of God to make this “once for all” offering.

Galatians 1:4; 2:20; Ephesians 5:2, 25; 1 Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 7:27

These final Scriptures are more general in nature, they use language like “gave himself” or “gave himself up” or “offered Himself.”  These speak to the act offering a sacrifice, which is precisely what Jesus did.


Study/Thought Questions:

Exodus 12:1-28

  • What should be the quality of the lamb selected for Passover? (v. 5)
  • How was the original Passover to be eaten? (v. 11)
  • At what point would the Lord pass over their house? (v. 13)
  • What is said about the duration of this memorial (vv. 14, 17)
  • What were they to eat for seven days? (v. 15)

Leviticus 16:1-34

  • With what was Aaron to enter the holy place? (v. 3)
  • For what was the bull offered? (v. 6)
  • One goat was to be for what? (v. 9)
  • What was done with the second goat? (v. 10)
  • What was Aaron to do with the blood of the bull? (v. 14) And the blood of the goat? (v. 15)
  • What was the blood of the goat to accomplish? (v. 16)
  • What was to be done with the “scapegoat?” (vv. 21-22)
  • What was the result of all of this? (v. 30)

John 1:29, 36

  • How did John the Baptist refer to Jesus?
  • As such, what would Jesus accomplish (v. 29)

Acts 8:30-35

  • What was being described in the text the Eunuch was reading? (vv. 32-33)
  • Based on that text, what did Philip preach? (v. 35)

1 Corinthians 5:7

  • For what reason does Paul say we should “cleanse out the old leaven?”

1 Peter 1:17-21

  •  To what is the precious blood of Christ compared? (v. 19)

 Revelation 5:6-12

  • What appeared to have happened to this Lamb? (v. 6)
  • What did the occupants of heaven proclaim about the Lamb? (v. 12)

Romans 3:25

  • God put forward Jesus as what?

Hebrews 2:17

  • What role did Jesus fill in order to make propitiation?

1 John 2:2

  • For whom and what is Jesus the propitiation?

1 John 4:10

  • Of what is it a demonstration that God sent His Son to be a propitiation?

Hebrews 9:6-28

  • What was the failing of the gifts and sacrifices offered under the Law of Moses? (v. 9)
  • What did Jesus secure by means of His own blood? (v. 12)
  • Into what holy place did Jesus enter? (v. 24)
  • By what means did Jesus put away sin? (v. 26)

Hebrews 10:1-25

  • Through what have we been sanctified? (v. 10)
  • What did Jesus do after having offered one sacrifice? (v. 12)
  •  What did Jesus accomplish through one offering? (v. 14)

Galatians 1:4

  • How are we benefitted by Jesus giving Himself?

Galatians 2:20

  • Why did Jesus give Himself for me?

Ephesians 5:2

  • What did Jesus give Himself as?

Ephesians 5:25

  • For whom did Jesus give Himself up?

1 Timothy 2:6

  • What did Jesus give Himself as?

Titus 2:14

  • To what end did Jesus give Himself up?

Hebrews 7:27

  • How often was it necessary for Jesus to make an offering?


Meditation Thoughts:

What purpose did the sacrifices of the Law of Moses serve? And for us today?

What ideas are tied to Jesus being our Passover?

Atonement is often thought of as making “at-one.”  What is accomplished in the sacrifice to make this possible?


Memory Verse:

“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.” (Hebrews 9:28)


A Week in the Word, September 14-20


Theme: God — Steadfast Love

“The word…lies at the heart of the biblical revelation of God” (Wm. Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology, 58). It “is one of the riches, most theologically insightful terms in the OT” (Wm. Mounce, Expository Dictionary , 426).

That word is the Hebrew, hesed, and its meaning is difficult to capture with any single English word.  Yes, it is love, but it is more intense, deeper and richer.  It is variously translated as steadfast love, lovingkindness, unchanging love, everlasting love, covenant love, etc.  It is also, depending on the context, sometimes translated as kindness, faithfulness, loyalty, or mercy.

God is, on the one hand, power and might, He is holy and righteous, He is just and sovereign.  So much of what God is distances Himself from us.  He is far removed from what we are.  On the other hand it is His steadfast love that draws Him to us and bridges the gap.  It moves Him to bind Himself to us and show His mercy and forgiveness when that is not what the circumstance—His holiness and our sin—demands.

So, not at all strange is the close association of several other words and concepts with God’s steadfast love.  When we find the word is Scripture it is frequently coupled with words like truth, salvation, forgiveness, faithfulness, justice, compassion, redemption, and goodness.

Never are the words of Paul more meaningful, “That you…may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:17-19).


Readings and Introductory Comments:

Genesis 19:19; 32:10; 39:21; Exodus 15:13; 20:4-6; 34:6-7; Numbers 14:18-19; Deuteronomy 7:6-13

In choosing a man (Abraham), and through that man’s descendants to work His divine plan for ultimate salvation, we should anticipate the appearance of God’s steadfast love.  It’s found explicitly in God’s dealing with Lot, Jacob, and Joseph.  And also with the chosen nation whom He delivered from bondage in Egypt, brought through the wilderness, and to whom He gave a land to occupy.

1 Kings 8:23; 1 Chronicles 16:34, 41; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 6:14; 7:3, 6; 20:21; Isaiah 54:7-10; Jeremiah 3:12; 33:10-11; Lamentations 3:21-26; Hosea 11:1-4; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:12-13; Ezra 3:10-13; Nehemiah 1:4-6

The kings and prophets also knew God’s steadfast love.  As there were few monarchs who faithfully served God, few spoke of His lovingkindness.  Prophets were sent to His unfaithful people.  And, yes, they told of His displeasure and punishment to come, but they also held out hope because of His unfailing love.  He was not finished with His own.  Sure enough, those who led in restoring the remnant following captivity acknowledge God’s continued mercy and compassion.

Psalms 5:7; 13:5; 17:7; 23:6; 25:7, 10; 26:3; 31:7, 16, 21; 32:10; 33:5, 18, 22; 36:5, 7, 10; 40:11; 44:26; 48:9; 51:1; 57:3, 10; 59:10, 16, 17; 63:3; 69:13, 16; 85:10; 86:5, 13, 15; 89:1, 2, 14, 24, 28, 33, 49; 90:14; 94:18; 98:3; 100:5; 103:4, 8, 11, 17; 106:1, 7, 45; 107:1, 8, 15, 21, 31, 43; 109:12, 16, 21, 26; 115:1; 117:2; 118:1-4, 29; 119:41, 64, 76, 88, 124, 149, 159; 130:7; 136:1-26; 145:8; 147:11

When it comes giving praise and honor to God—as the Psalms so frequently and consistently do—no greater reason exists to do so than for His steadfast love. The sheer number of times His hesed is praised and honored ought to impress us greatly.

Most of these are one-verse references, but note especially the emphasis given in the references in Psalms 89, 107, 118, and 136.


Study/Thought Questions:

Genesis 19:19

  • What did God show Lot?

Genesis 32:10

  • Of what did Jacob say he was not worthy?

Genesis 39:21

  • Where was Joseph when God showed him steadfast love?

Exodus 15:13

  • What had God done with those he led in steadfast love?

Exodus 20:4-6

  • God’s steadfast love was motivation to keep what commandment?

Exodus 34:6-7

  • What does God do as result of His steadfast love? (v. 7)

 Numbers 14:18-19

  • What did Moses ask God to do based on His steadfast love? (v. 19)

Deuteronomy 7:6-13

  • What does God keep with those who love Him? (v. 9)

1 Chronicles 16:34, 41

  • What was to be done to God since His steadfast love endures forever? (v. 41)

2 Chronicles 7:3

  • For what reason did the people give thanks and worship the Lord? (7:3)

Isaiah 54:7-10

  • What will God have for His people with everlasting love? (v. 8)

Jeremiah 33:10-11

  • What does Jeremiah say will happen because of God’s steadfast love?

Lamentations 3:21-26

  • Why will I hope in God? (v. 24)

Hosea 11:1-4

  • How did God lead His people? (v. 4)

Micah 7:18-20

  • What will God do with His people’s sins? (v. 19)

Joel 2:12-13

  • Why are God’s people able to return to Him? (v. 13)

Ezra 3:10-13

  • What did the people sing? (v. 11)

Nehemiah 1:4-6

  • What does God keep with those who love Him? (v. 5)

Psalm 5:7

  • Where will the Psalmist go because of God’s steadfast love?

Psalm 23:6

  • What will follow me all my days?

Psalm 25:7, 10

  • According to what does the Psalmist wish to be remembered? (v. 7) And not according to what?

Psalm 32:10

  • Whom does God’s steadfast love surround?

Psalm 36:5

  • How far does God’s steadfast love extend?

Psalm 63:3

  • What is God’s steadfast love better than?

Psalm 69:13

  • In what activity does the Psalmist participate because of God’s steadfast love?

Psalm 85:10

  • Who meets?  Who kisses?

Psalm 89:14

  • What goes before God?

Psalm 103:11

  • How great is God’s steadfast love?

Psalm 106:7

  • What were demonstrations of God’s steadfast love in Egypt?

Psalm 118:1-4

  • What should be said? (vv. 2-4)

Psalm 136:1-26

  • What events are remembered in vv. 4-9?  In vv. 10-16?  In vv. 17-22?


Meditation Thoughts:

Why does God love us?

Do we feel compelled to deserve God’s love?

God’s steadfast love in the Old Testament is said to be the equivalent to His grace in the New Testament.  In what ways is that true?


Memory Verse:

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23

A Week in the Word, September 7 – 13

Theme: Biographical – Peter

Besides the apostle Paul and Jesus Himself, no other personality commands more space in the New Testament text than does Peter.  Among the original twelve apostles Peter plays a most prominent role.  Likely that is in part due to his very vocal and impetuous nature.  Peter always seemed to speak up first, and to have done so, it often appears, without thinking.

Peter is frequently criticized for being rash.  But who else among the apostles had a more fervent, hold-nothing-back, first-in-line kind of approach to following Jesus?  His hastiness may be at times embarrassing, but his zeal is unquestioned and admirable.

Our readings will be in three parts.  First, the events during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry—from the Gospels, of course.  Next, his leadership in the early church following Jesus’ ascension back to heaven.  Finally, from his writing of two epistles.  Space and time do not allow for us to read all that the Bible has to say about Peter nor all that he wrote.


Readings and Introductory Comments:

Luke 5:1-11; Mark 1:29-39; Matthew 14:22-33; 16:13-20, 21-28; 17:1-8; John 13:3-11; Luke 22:31-34, 54-62; John 20:1-10; 21:1-23

No other apostle is mentioned more often by name than is Peter.  He was not only present, but appears to have played important roles in many of the events from Jesus’ ministry.  Of course, it was Peter’s nature to quickly speak or respond to the events around him.  So, it is his words and/or actions with which Jesus frequently interacted.  Peter was also a part of what is called Jesus’ “inner circle”—Peter, Andrew, James, and John— those apostles whom Jesus invited on numerous occasions to experience or witness events the others did not.

Also, given the prominent role Peter was to fulfill in the life of the early church, emphasis is likely given to events that help show not only the character of the man but those that shaped his faith and relationship with the Lord.

Acts 1:15-26; 2:14-42; 4:1-22; 9:32-43; 10:1-48; 12:1-19; 15:6-11

Peter, along with John, are shown in the record of Acts to play leading roles in the early church in Jerusalem.   Likely due to a combination of the Lord’s intent for his place of leadership in the church and the bent of his personality, Peter’s place is prominent.  His place is key in that his words are recorded (though the other apostles also spoke) in the sermon of Acts 2—certainly on the short list of greatest sermons ever preached.  He is chosen by God to be a player in that ever-critical watershed event of the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius (Acts 10).

We’ve not read all there is to be read about Peter’s activities in Acts.  Though we read his famous Acts 2 sermon, another one follows in the next chapter (3:1-26).  We also read of the arrest and initial persecution that followed the Acts 3 events in the temple, we did not read about later arrests and threats (5:17-42).  Peter also played a primary part in the sad story of Ananias and Sapphira (5:1-11) as well as the evangelizing of Samaria (8:14-25).

1 Peter 1:1-12; 2 Peter 1:1-11

The two epistles attributed to Peter in the New Testament  were written for stated purposes. The first declaring the “true grace of God” in which the child of God is to stand firm (1 Pet. 5:12). The second to warn Christians to not be “carried away with the error of lawless people” but rather “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:17-18).

Our readings are, obviously, the opening remarks from Peter for each letter.


Study/Thought Questions:

Luke 5:1-11

  • What was Peter’s objection to Jesus’ request? (v. 5)
  • What was Peter’s response to the miraculous catch? (v. 8)

Mark 1:29-39

  • Whom did Jesus heal? (v. 30)
  • What was Jesus doing when Peter found him? (v. 35)

Matthew 14:22-33

  • What request did Peter make of Jesus? (v. 28)

Matthew 16:13-20

  • Why did Jesus say Peter was blessed? (v. 17)

Matthew 16:21-28

  • Where did Jesus say Peter was setting his mind? (v. 23)

Matthew 17:1-8

  • How did Peter think this momentous event should be memorialized? (v. 4)
  • What did God say the appropriate response was? (v. 5)

 John 13:3-11

  • To what did Peter object? (v. 6)

Luke 22:31-34, 54-62

  • What did Peter boast? (v. 33)
  • What did Jesus do after the rooster crowed? (v. 61)

John 20:1-10

  • Who went to the tomb with Peter? (v. 3)
  • What did Peter do as soon as he arrived at the tomb? (v. 6)

John 21:1-23

  • What did Peter say? (v. 3)
  • What did Peter do when he realized it was Jesus speaking from the shore? (v. 7)
  • What did Jesus ask Peter? (v. 15)

Acts 1:15-26

  • What did Peter say had to be fulfilled? (v. 16)

Acts 2:14-42

  • Who along with Peter spoke? (v. 15)
  • What question was Peter asked? (v. 37)

Acts 4:1-22

  • By what authority did Peter say the lame man had been healed? (v. 9)
  • What was perceived about Peter and John? (v. 13)

Acts 9:32-43

  • What did the residence of Lydda and Sharon do after they saw the man whom Peter healed? (v. 35)

Acts 10:1-48

  • What did Cornelius do when Peter came to his house? (v. 25)
  • What had Peter come to realize? (v. 34)

Acts 12:1-19

  • How did the angel waken Peter? (v. 7)

Acts 15:6-11

  • What choice did Peter say God had made? (v. 7)

1 Peter 1:1-12

  • By what are we born again to a living hope? (v. 3)

2 Peter 1:1-11

  • What will be richly provided? (v. 11)  How so?

Meditation Thoughts:

What characteristics of Peter are also true of you?

What seems to be Peter’s greatest shortcoming to you?

What do you most admire about Peter?

Peter denied Jesus, Judas betrayed Him.  Peter wept, repented, and was restored.  Judas wept, was remorseful, and killed himself. What are the differences in these two men responses that led to two different outcomes?


Memory Verse:

“Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.’” (Matt. 16:16-17)