Dad, Questions and the Pursuit of Jesus

Just A Thought...
There's no doubt I look just like my father. When I encounter people who knew my dad I don't even have to tell them who I am anymore, they usually say something like, "Are you Vernon Webb's son?" And while I have put no effort into looking like him, except maybe shaving my head to hide the balding pattern, I find myself doing what I saw him doing.
Most of my childhood was spent living in children's homes where he worked as a social worker. I had no clue what he really did during the day, but I do know he was responsible for disciplining the children when they were disobedient. I always heard about it when we were on the playground with the children from the home. I could hear them whispering about him when I was around. Either telling others to behave because Mr. Webb's son was there, or venting about their recent encounter with him.
Through Facebook I've had the opportunity to reconnect with some of the children from various homes over the years. It's amazing to me how many of their names I remember considering how young I was at the time, or how many years ago it was since we were in these places. But many of them have sent me messages about the impact my father had on their life. One wrote, "Your father could swing a paddle, but I never doubted that he really cared for me. I am who I am today because of him." I don't know for sure, but I assume that means he's not in prison somewhere, but instead on a more healthy, perhaps even more holy, path of living.
I often stood in opposition of my father and the things he was trying to teach me, but now I see myself trying to do what I saw him doing.
As You Prepare...
Who is Jesus? This is a question many people have asked for centuries past, and will ask for centuries to come. This is a question some of the most brilliant minds of all time have sought to answer, and the same question some of our adults will be asking children next week at Vacation Bible School. And the answers are far and wide. Some are steeped in theology, full of big words, and often times confusing. Others are short, simple and beautiful. When we ask the question we find ourselves connected with a humanity whose souls are longing to be reconnected with their Creator.
Not long after Jesus walked out on the Sea of Galilee to meet the disciples in the midst of a storm, think back to last week's sermon, we find Jesus engaging in another conversation with His disciples. The topic relates partly to what they have seen Him do, but also how others have seen Him do these things. Matthew's Gospel says:
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
Immediately the disciples chime in: John the Baptist! Elijah! Jeremiah! A prophet! Can you imagine the scene? Each one answering the question thinking this is the right answer. But Jesus, as Jesus often does, isn't asking the question because He's concerned what people think of Him. No, Jesus is asking the question to help them, the disciples, understand who He is. We understand this by His next question:
But what about you? Who do you say I am?
A different response this time. We don't get the picture of the disciples clamoring to make their answer known. No, just Peter. The same Peter who asked Jesus to him walk on water just as he saw Jesus doing. Peter responded by saying:
You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
This is truth. Jesus is the Messiah. He is the Son of the Living God. He is the manifestation of God. God in flesh. If you want to know what God is like, Jesus shows us. As Peter sees this in Jesus, He, too, wants to be just like Him. He's not perfect in his pursuit of being like Jesus. After all he just finished sinking in the sea because of his doubt. Later on he'll deny Jesus out of fear. But he's also the same man who, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, stood up at Pentecost, preached the good news of Jesus and saw about 3,000 saved. He spent his whole life trying to do what he saw Jesus doing.
Grace & peace,

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