Matthew 16:13-16 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
This groundbreaking conversation took place at Caesarea Phillipi, which lies today in the modern day reserve of the Banias in the Golan Heights region of Israel. The city was established by Ptolemaic Greeks, a Hellenistic community where the worship of the god Pan was centered. Reviled by the Jews of Yeshua's time and considered by them the most idolatrous place in the entire Galilee, to this day it remains a place of nature worship and deep paganism.
Why did Yeshua (Jesus) deliberately take his disciples to the most sinful, pagan place to reveal who He was? Why not in the temple courts, or the tomb of Jeremiah or one of the prophets, where He might feel more at home and welcomed? No, Yeshua revealed who He really was… in the darkest corner of Israel.
Now that tells me that the Lord is not shy about shining His light in dark places, and that includes the ones inside me. Psalm 139 tells me that He is intimately acquainted with all of them –that I can forget about keeping secrets from Him. It seems He rather delights in walking into enemy territory and taking ground. Those areas of my life that I don’t want anyone else to see, (and usually can hide from them) – He wants to visit, speak His word, illuminate and cleanse the place! The places where I'm darkest and weakest are His greatest opportunities to be glorified through repentance, transformation, and healing.
Take time to open before God the dark areas of your life, trusting in His perfect and patient love for you. He wants to reveal His forgiveness and beauty right where you are most ashamed and miserable. The gates of Hell shall not prevail against a saint whose faith and courage invite Yeshua deep into the hidden areas of his soul, to be cleansed and given over to Him.
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