God does not have a shifting baseline. We can turn to God and find that the Creator is still in the business of creating.  From the earthly perspective, we find that opinions about God shift in a spectrum from atheism to polytheism. 

Most of our diversity in understanding God has to do with our lack of vision. In the story of Jesus, we find that God sent Jesus in our midst to clarify the vision of who God is. In the small, ancient nation of Israel, a man named Jesus was born who claimed to be sent from Heaven to show us the Father’s love.

Jesus recognized the shifting baseline of religion in his day. Religious diversity and opinion was just as widespread then as it is now. Everyone had his or her own party view of God. The seers (see-ers) and prophets helped people catch a few ideas about the Almighty. Jesus’ own people, the Jews were hanging on to ancient promises that God would send someone to restore the world back to its original design and potential.

Matthew 16:
13 When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
15 He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17-18 Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.

Peter looked beyond the shifting baseline of religious opinion. Though others saw Jesus as an important figure, they did not see him as the Son of God come to reveal God’s heart for a violent, hard-hearted world.

Jesus describes a ‘knowing of God’ that cannot be learned in catechism, listening to Joyce Meyer or by being a student of world religion. Jesus tells Peter that the true and living God had given him the ability to see who Jesus is.

How do you see Jesus? Have you accepted a degraded, shifting baseline version of Jesus or has God opened your eyes to see that Jesus holds the keys of life and death?

Jesus told Peter that he was gathering a group of people who would work together to live with an eternal baseline. Jesus is not building a house on shifting sand, but a solid concrete foundation.

If you see Jesus for whom he is, you belong to his church. The worst fire will burn down God’s house. The heaviest flood will not wash it away. Cathedrals may be emptying, but God’s table is filling up with people who once were blind and now can see.

Who do you say Jesus is?