This past weekend, a group of students and adults attended the Fall Retreat at Beulah Beach in Vermilion! This was an awesome weekend of building relationships, making memories, and digging into God's Word. We played crazy ice breaker games, we swam in the lake, we enjoyed some really good food, we played underground church in the dark, had a bonfire with s'mores, and built cardboard boats. And in between all the fun, we had multiple opportunities to dig into God's Word, to praise him through prayer and worship, and to discuss together in small groups.
Our key passages for the retreat were Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-30 and Luke 9:18-27. This conversation occurs toward the end of Jesus' earthly ministry, as he takes his disciples on a retreat up north, to the land of the Gentiles. It is during this trip that Jesus evaluates his ministry a bit, asking his disciples two questions.
He first asks a broad question: "Who do people say that I am?" His disciples answer by saying, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets." These are all God-fearing men. Well honored and respected. But is that all Jesus is? Just another teacher or prophet? I imagine Jesus was a little disheartened hearing this response.
Then he turns to his disciples and asks, "But what about you? Who do you say I am?" Peter confidently declares, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Peter nailed it. And while probably not having a full and accurate understanding of who Jesus is (seeing that Jesus warns them not to tell anyone), God had revealed to Him that Jesus was indeed the Christ. The Messiah. The Savior.
And when Peter declared who Jesus is, Jesus then reminds him of his identity as well. He reminds him of his name and his purpose. When we come to know Jesus for who he truly is, he will remind us of our identity in him, too.
So what about you? Who do you say Jesus is? The way you answer this question is SO important! The way our teens answer this question is important! More important than who they'll marry, where they'll go to school, or what they'll do with the rest of their lives, is how they answer Jesus' question: "But what about you? Who do you say I am?" Our view of Jesus will affect every aspect of our lives. Do we know who he is?
This year, our theme is Knowing Him. It is our hope and prayer that each student will come to know Jesus personally and intimately. That their understanding of who Jesus is will grow. The Bible is pretty clear when it comes to who Jesus is. The question becomes whether or not we believe it to be true. Take a few moments to read through some of these names of Jesus and praise Him for who He is!
Thank you for allowing us to partner with you in growing extraordinary students who love God, love people and make disciples!