The Orphan Spirit and the Sons of God.

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’),  and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell  will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”- Matthew 16:13-28

Whom did Jesus pick to be His disciples? Did He walk over to the local synagogue and pick the students of the law? Did He go and pick the top students of the class? 


No. He picked those who couldn’t cut it at rabbinical school. He went to those who held the lowest stations of life! He chose those who had been rejected by the religious elite. Jesus called society’s rejects, the lowest of the low. Tax collectors and fishermen.

We read throughout the Gospel that they mostly got things wrong rather than right.

James and John were nicknamed the “sons of thunder” for their explosive anger. One of the suggestions they gave Jesus was to fry an entire city. However, they were transformed by Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. John went from wanting to call down fire from heaven and being  a “son of thunder” to the “apostle of love.”

In the Gospels, we see the disciples were always ten steps behind, thick headed, slow and spiritually poor. They did not possess anything good, which is why Jesus chose them.


Minds on the World Not on God


The Disciples thoughts were completely centred on the way of the world.


Jesus was a stumbling block for the Jews, because the Jewish man thought heavenly power was the same as earthly power. The Messiah was to be a conquering king, who would free them from the Romans.

Who do people say I am?”

In other words, Jesus is asking, “Who do people want me to be?”

The disciples were afraid to express their hope for freedom, so they hesitated. They likened Jesus to other spiritual leaders who were stuck in slavery to other nations. 

One yelled out “Jeremiah,” a couple others joined in, “Elijah or one of the prophets.”

Another shouted John the Baptist, Jesus’  bold cousin who spoke out against those who had worldly power.

But Jesus did not fit that shoe.

Jesus pressed His disciples to tell him what they really thought!

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)

Peter the most aggressive of the bunch, the one who would be quick to lash out with a sword when he felt the time for a violent revolt was at hand, spoke out on the hope they all had.

His words were true, given to him by God, but as we will see, his concept of the messiah and what He was to accomplish was much different than who Jesus was and what His ultimate goal was.

Peter thought he was proclaiming an earthly king, a messiah who would take down their Roman oppressors. He didn’t foresee a king who would free them from sin, death and bondage. That was not part of his worldview.

Power and Authority?

When it came to power and authority, the disciples were lost.

In Mark 9 they asked one another while walking down a dusty road,“Who is the greatest?”
 
Who is the least? Where did everyone fit in the kingdom Jesus was to have? 

These are the arguments they had. They were so concerned with earthly power and authority.

They fought like children on a playground.

“I am the greatest,” one said to the other. “no I am the greatest,” another said. They lusted after earthly power and authority.

But, Jesus was to give them real power. Power over this world, not of this world. Spiritual, forever power.

Verse 19 reads: “And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

They were walking with power, because they walked with Jesus. The Holy Spirit was with them through the physical presence of Jesus. There was power when relationship happened.

Matthew 10:1 illustrates shows this: “Jesus called the twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness”

Jesus gave them authority and a measure of power as He walked beside them on this earth. It is scary they had any power considering what shape they were in.

Though limited in power, their relationship with the Holy Spirit came only through their relationship with Jesus. They had no indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

This why Jesus said in John 16:7: ” But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. “

In order for all truth and power to be in them and flow through them, Jesus had to die and come back to life, beating the power of sin and death. To bring all human-kind back to relationship with their Poppa. There could be no real freedom or power without this intimate relationship.

Orphans Turned to Sons

Before Jesus fulfilled His purpose on earth, the disciples argued with one another because they didn’t know who they were. Jesus knew they were arguing like this because they were orphans.

When they received the Holy Spirit, they were returned to the image that God originally formed man to be. They became sons.

When you’re a son you won’t argue about who is the greatest. When you’re no longer an orphan that doesn’t matter anymore. When you’re a son you don’t have to compete.

Even though Peter made the statement of Christ’s lordship as an orphan (verse 16), God was speaking truth through Peters lips. Which is why Jesus said in verse 17 and 18: “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

Not the rock as in Peter but upon the proclamation that Jesus is Lord and God. Jesus Christ is the revelation that the Church needs to be build upon. The Church was not built upon Peter, but upon the leading and power of the Holy Spirit. Any merit Peter had as a man was installed in him by Jesus Christ.

We see that Peter never even realized what he was proclaiming, as he turns around and shows his true colours only a couple verses later.

Verses 21-23 reads: “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

Peter is speaking out of ignorance because he is still speaking with an orphan spirit. He has not yet received the Holy Spirit. Peter is not a son. He is still an orphan. Jesus makes this abundantly clear! Jesus says,“get away from me Satan!” because Peter is expressing statements from the enemy’s camp, not from God’s.

This orphan spirit, this twisted demonic spirit still had influence over Peter. This demonic devil-like thinking was on earth, because there were no sons. The revelation of sonship had not yet come.

When the revelation of sonship hits your heart, it changes your attitude. It changes your heart. It changes everything.

Jesus Speaks Plainly to Us

We see that Peter could proclaim the truth of God in one breath but in another, when Jesus told them plainly the plan of God and His kingdom, Peter wanted none of it.

Verse 21 says – “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.”
Because of the statement Peter original proclaimed, Jesus began speaking plainly to them. After the disciples came to the understanding that Jesus was Lord, Jesus built upon this knowledge with the truth of His purpose.

When we come to the place where we accept Jesus as Lord, when we proclaim “Jesus you are Lord and King,” when we have our initial salvation experience, Jesus begins to speak plainly to us.

We need to go beyond mere words. When the truth of “GOD SPEAKING plainly to us” hits our reality, we need to take Him at His Word. His reality has to become our reality.

When the plain truth was spoken to Peter, because the Spirit of God was not in him, the demonic came out. He wanted Jesus to be who he thought he should be. He wanted an earthly king, not the God of the universe but a small “g” God that the world said he should have been.

Peter said the true words, that Jesus is God, but he also turned around and refuted God. He basically told God He was wrong! That is not being obedient. That is not trusting and that is not submitting. Peter did not actually believe the words he spoke. Peter’s reality was the reality of the world and at that point of his life he was not ready for the kingdom of God to live inside of him and become his reality.

Children of God vs Children of Darkness

When the truth of God is spoken to us—when the Holy Spirit presents His reality—will we either manifest the demonic or have Jesus become our life. Those are our only two choices! 

For a house divided cannot stand.

We cannot merely incorporate Jesus into our lives. It is all or none.  He is either all of our life or He is not Lord of our lives at all.

This is the scary truth of this passage. The Holy Spirit either lives fully in us or we are full of the demonic! You cannot incorporate Jesus into your life to give you a better day. Jesus didn’t die to simply meet your needs. He died to make you like Him!

To make you an “imitator of God dear children and walk in love.” (EPH 5:1)

Jesus paid a price not to just get you to heaven, but to make us like Him—to become children of God. What does that look like?

Jesus has the answer in verses 24-28:
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

We must give up our own way—the way that seems right to a man—and accept Gods way. The truth of Jesus, the truth of the gospel.

We must not only accept that Jesus is God. We must accept what He has done for us, and who He is calling us to be: sons and daughters of the King.

We must accept the Holy Spirit’s refining work inside of us to make us into the image of Christ.

We must give up our lives, our preconceived ideas, our faulty concepts of who Jesus was and allow Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to reveal who He is!

Jesus is alive, not dead. We are His sons and daughters, not orphans.
We cannot allow the spirit of the world and the ideas and concepts of the world, influence how we walk, talk and live.

We need to stop hanging onto the trappings and worldly pleasures of this life and simply hang on to Him who has called us by name.

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Matthew 16:25)

Conclusion

Once Peter embraced the resurrected Lord, when Jesus breathed upon him and the other disciples, they all gave up the lives they once lived. 

Peter’s foolish zeal faded away. His confusion about who he was left Him. His confidence was no longer misplaced. He lived not as an orphan but a son of God.

He soon experienced what true power and authority was through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and His whole life was consumed by the Spirit of God.

We have this same Spirit living in us. We can walk in the same confidence and assurance of son-ship.

We are not left as orphans; we are the children of the living God.
We don’t need to be afraid of this world or hold fast to any of its securities. We can hold on to Jesus Christ and Him alone. 

We are filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, able to walk in full power and authority.

We just need to give up and give in to who Christ has made us to be.