He is Real

When you drive west into Jasper National Park from my home town of Edmonton, Alberta, your landscape changes from the prairies to the rocky mountains.  If it is a clear day, you begin to see in the horizon the tops of snow capped mountains. Soon you pass through the Jasper National Park gate where a stretch of highway is nestled between a river and various lakes as clear as sparkling water.

Leaving the city behind, I breathe. All my worries, and planning, and goals, and life’s details that I tend to ruminate on do not disappear, yet my perspective changes. How cannot it not, when surrounded by (for lack of better words) breath-taking scenery.

In Matthew 16:13-20, we read when Jesus brought the disciples away from the city to the remote region of Ceasarea Philippi, located in the foothills of Mount Hermon. Mount Hermon is a cluster of mountains approximately 1000 square km and its peaks are snow covered most of the year. These mountains were the scenic backdrop when Jesus said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).

A True Confession

Peter had just confessed Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. While others were still asking for miracles, and believed Jesus to be a prophet come back to life, Peter saw Jesus as He truly was – the Son of God.

Jesus answered Peter;

“Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.“(emphasis added) Matthew 16: 17

In the foothills of Mount Hermon with an appealing snow-capped mountain range in the horizon, our Father in heaven revealed Jesus’ true identity to Peter. It may not have been an audible voice, but Peter listened and knew. His perspective changed, his faith in Jesus sealed, and later he became the first great leader in the church of Jerusalem.

When I am in the rocky mountains, surrounded by divine beauty, if someone was to ask me “Who do you say Jesus is?” I would not hesitate to say that He is the Son of our Heavenly Father, who came to life to save us and give us eternal life. But when I am in midst of my city life full of its own troubles, I must remember to also breathe in His divine presence. The homeless I pass on my walk to work every day through a downtown mall, the closed up shops I see that could not continue due to the pandemic, a friend who is asking for prayers for her five-year old niece with cancer; all these troubles I see can be disheartening.

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What gives us our faith?

Yet, it is not our surroundings, what we see that give us our faith. It is our Father in Heaven who reveals Himself to us. Our proof is in the words of our Bible and the testimony of believers. (NIV, Life Application Bible)

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

How blessed we are to both see His majestical creations such as the rocky mountains, and to know His divine presence without ever needing to see His physical appearance.

Who do you say He is?

Linking up with #LetsHaveCoffee Grace&Truth InspireMeMonday

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16 Comments

  1. Beautiful as always, Lynn! In those surroundings it is clear about who He is and I love the description of the scene of the mountains and Peter’r response to Jesus and then the pronouncement that he would be the rock upon which the church would be built. It is in the cluttered landscape of the city and suburbs and the crush of daily life we need to breathe in His presence from the deep well of the Holy Spirit within us.

    1. Hi Pam! I had read this passage many times but paid no attention to the surroundings they were in when Peter declared Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. I often can be blind to my surroundings, and what God wants me to see when so wrapped up in the daily “cluttered.” I love how you say “we need to breathe in His presence from the deep well of the Holy Spirit within us.” Amen!

    1. “…to be sensitive to what we see that needs His loving touch.” I love that Linda. And know I could do better with all His creations–from reducing waste to driving an electric car to feeding those that are hungry. Thank you for your perspective today!

  2. “How blessed we are to both see His majestical creations such as the rocky mountains, and to know His divine presence without ever needing to see His physical appearance.” Amen to this, Lynn. When we visit the Rockies in Colorado, I’m always in awe of God.

    1. I’ve seen the Rockies in Utah, but only from pictures in Colorado. North America is a beautiful place to live with all its diverse landscapes! I’ve visited several places in the United States, and glad you are my “neighbour.” Have a wonderful weekend, Lisa!

  3. I love Jasper National Park (and every other park in the Rocky Mountains I’ve ever visited). I will be passing through again this summer on my way to Alaska ❤️ I’m like you, it’s so easy to acknowledge who God is out in the wonders of creation. And cities discourage me. But I wonder if I spent more time being the hands and feet and smile of my Savior if I would start to feel closer to God amongst people, too.

    1. I did the drive between Edmonton and the Yukon many times when I lived in Whitehorse in the ’90’s. I look forward to reading your words and seeing your pictures when in Alaska this summer! You make an excellent point to ponder, Anita. Being the hands and feet and smile of Jesus brings praise and glory to Him and we have the ability to do that when among many people. Amen!

  4. This is beautiful Lynn, I never viewed the incident with Peter quite that way, but now I see it is true even of me. Oh when I am submersed in HIs glory, I know who God is, but the ugliness of every day repels me at times, yet he is there too, because he is real, he is everyday.