It is amazing to listen in on conversations and to watch people. I like to do that, to watch people. The mall. The airport. Every day life conversations and happenings lend themselves to seeing what people believe about life, about themselves and about God.
In one conversation Jesus had with His disciples we see this fleshed out in a way that seems to be a pattern we need to follow: listen to others but make your own decisions. Listen in to what Jesus and His disciples talk about:
Luke 9:18-20 (NKJV) --- And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" So they answered and said, "John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God."
What do others have to say? We can learn so much from others. People who have already been where we are headed have huge insight. Rick Warren says "God never wastes a hurt" which means that God uses our life experience so we can encourage others. By listening in and watching others we will learn much.
It is kind of a like me watching my brothers when I was little. I learned how NOT to get in trouble and how to get away with things. That is the truth, sorry Rick and Steve, but thanks for teaching me.
But I had to live my life after I learned from them. We have to make our own way and apply what we have learned.
In Jesus' conversation, He asked the disciples what they heard others say about Him. Friends, we have to listen and learn. What we glean may not be all true, but we can learn. Then it is time to step up and find out what we believe. Dig for the truth. Check our hearts and give an answer.
When Peter spoke up for the disciples, he was never afraid to do that, he answered right. Some of that answer came from listening and learning from Jesus. Part of it came from watching Jesus interact with others. The final answer was Peter's.
Easter is coming in only a couple weeks. People are watching you. What will they see you do and hear you say about our Savior? How will you interact with Jesus? Just like the disciples we have answers to give…God doesn't let us stay on the fence.
Job 22:28 (ESV) --- You will decide on a matter, and it will be established for you, and light will shine on your ways.
Jesus sitting next to you. Talking directly to you. "What do the people you encounter say about me?" Answer him. He asks you, "Now, who am I to you?"