New International Version (NIV)
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Webster’s dictionary defines “impression” as: a characteristic, trait, or feature resulting from some influence. We typically think about the impression someone or something makes on us. It can be either good or bad. We have “first” impressions. We have “lasting” impressions. Sometimes we are not “impressed” at all. What is it that impresses us about someone? In the world today, more often than not, it is what someone looks like. Studies have shown that someone who is attractive by the world’s standards is more likely to be hired by a business and is usually paid higher wages. What else can impress us? Are they powerful? Are they smart? Are they evil? Are they whatever?
“Whatever” is the question. What do we judge by? We all judge by a lifetime of influences. When we meet someone for the first time we naturally look at them through the myriad of lenses that we have developed over our lifetime. “He just looks evil.” “She just seems so kind.” “They appear to be so in love.”
We must do our best to judge rightly in all of our decisions. We do have to call upon all that we know and we should, but we should not allow our “impressions” to cause us to jump to conclusions.
Who will you say that people are today? Who will they think you are? Who will you really be?
Grant us knowledge, wisdom, and discretion. Help us to know the truth of someone, to be wise about our decisions, and strong enough to make to the right decision no matter what the world might think. Help us lead lives that make a lasting impression on this world and on Your kingdom.
In the name of the Messiah.