Musical Devotion: "Who Do You Say I Am?"

Click the photo to hear today's Musical Devotion song, "You Are Lord"

Matthew 16 opens with the Pharisees and Sadducees demanding a sign from Jesus.  In other words, they are saying, “Who are you?!  Give us a sign telling us who you are!  If you are really the Messiah…PROVE IT.” 

They didn’t want to know who He was out of admiration for Him, or a heart of worship toward Him.  They had hearts of stone, and despised Him.   

Jesus, knowing their hearts (as He knows ours) responds saying: 

An evil and adulterous generation
seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”
So he left them and departed."
Matthew 16:4 (ESV Strong's) 


The Sign of Jonah  

Of course, when we hear the phrase, "the sign of Jonah", I immediately think of all the sermons I’ve heard over the years connecting the “similarities” of Jonah being "in the belly of a whale for three days", and Jesus being "in the belly of the earth" for three days.  But, I think there is more to this!   

Next, the gospel records that the disciples and Jesus “reach the other side”.  Jesus is still thinking over what just happened previously, and warns the disciples to “beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees”.   (There is greater detail of this encounter in Luke's gospel.)

And then we move on - in Matthew 16:13 Jesus is now asking his disciples, “Who do people say that I am”…..and the famous question…. “Who do YOU say I am?”  The Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to know if He was Messiah -- what did they think?

And of course, we all know the famous answer from Peter, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”.  

But, don't miss what Jesus says here: 

"Blessed are you, Simon Peter…SON OF JONAH….
for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you…..” 


Why does this matter?   

John 1:42 (ESV Strong's) He brought him [Peter] to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John.
You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). 

John 21:15 (ESV Strong's) When they had finished breakfast,
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 

John 21:17 (ESV Strong's) He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 

Peter’s father’s name was John, not Jonah.  Jesus is obviously and clearly connecting what Peter just said to the sign that the Pharisees and Sadducees were looking for — that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!  

The commentaries don’t reference the fact that Peter’s father’s name changed in this verse - I’ve checked.  One commentary tried to connect the Hebrew word for Jonah (Yoneh) to be a form of the name John (Yochanan) in Hebrew.  Nice try.  There are ZERO examples of where the name Jonah is used interchangeably with the name John, in Hebrew, or English.  There is nothing in Jewish history that connects the name Jonah to John.  They are completely different names.  Jonah means “dove” in Hebrew, and Yochanan means “Yahweh is Gracious”.    

Peter didn’t need a sign. He knew who Jesus was because of his relationship with Jesus.  He loved him, ate with him, watched Him heal the sick and feed the poor.  He adored Him.  He didn't need a sign to know Who Jesus was. 

Could that be the sign of Jonah? 

Not needing Jesus to prove Himself just to appease petty unbelief?  Knowing Who He is because you have walked with Him, talked with Him...heard His still small voice? 

I don't need a sign.  Do you?

Who do I say He is?

~Click the photo to hear the song "You Are Lord" by Teresa Thomas~


Bright Morning Star of heaven, Shine
as we behold Your glory!
Angelic Host declare Your Name
The Worlds bow down before Thee

And every tongue shall now confess
That You are Lord, our righteousness
Oh Jesus, my salvation
You are Lord

Every mystery revealed
Your face I now can savour
For your blood that flowed for me
Is still a fount of endless favour

And every tongue shall now confess
You are Lord, our righteousness
Oh Jesus, my salvation
You are Lord

You are 
You are my Saviour
You are my Lord
Prince of Peace
Wonderful Savior
Everlasting Father
You are God

Oh Jesus, my salvation
You are Lord



Today's Musical Devotion is a song I wrote and recorded several years ago called "You Are Lord" and is available as a download for a donation of any amount.  It is featured on my friend Chris Monahan's CD, "Simply I Come".  I was so delighted to have Pastor Zach Jones sing with me on this song -- I hope you enjoyed it!





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