No Ordinary School

Kathryn Tack, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | June 21, 2023

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  

Matthew 16:13-16

When Jesus selected leaders, it seems to me that He ignored every idea of what kind of person could fit the role. Jesus’ disciples started out like most of us, untrained and without influence in this world. They were an unlikely group of men to change the world. Their classroom was the highway of life. Jesus trained His disciples for their future roles by placing them in experiences that would enable them to learn through success and defeat. He taught by example, and as they stepped forth in courage, He encouraged them more or admonished them, honing them in His school.

I believe God prepares leaders with a specific task or role in mind. At least that is the way I have felt called by God. Through a specific task or role, I feel God tests me to see if I can bear it or believe it. In this Scripture before us today, Jesus tests Peter to step into his calling and purpose. If Peter was to lead the church, he would have to have a grasp on the identity of Christ and His purpose here on earth. Peter didn’t blink before answering. He boldly declared that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” When Peter confessed, he exhibited an awareness of Jesus’ purpose. Jesus affirms Peter and expresses His confidence in him.

I am so glad that this specific passage is in the Bible. It shows that Jesus looks for those who are humble enough to be molded into His plan and purposes. We don’t have to be perfect or schooled in all the essentials. We only need to be courageous enough to answer the call when confronted. Was Peter ready for his next role? We soon find out if we continue reading. At this point in the story, Peter waits (like most of us) while being prepared for what might be just around the corner, though unseen at the present. 

As a child of God, like Peter, He has a calling on your life, and He knows your potential. He created you. He has formed you and is molding you into the image of His Son as He prepares you for His Kingdom.

Next Steps 

Spend time in reflection today: have you sensed God’s call on your life?  What roles or tasks have been preparing you for God’s call on your life? What has God been teaching you?

Going Deeper

Grab that printout again or your Bible. Today, mark any transition phases you see in the text and then take a few moments to summarize the chapter in just a few sentences.