Updated: Feb 27, 2021
Reading: Matt 16:13-18 “13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
If you were to go around asking your friend, “What do people think about me?” they would take it as an evidence of pride. What difference does it really make what people think or say about us? The disciples told Him that there are different opinions out there. “some say you are John the Baptist; some say you are Elijah; some say Jeremiah, and some say one of the prophets. These were honorable thoughts but not the right ones. They were high opinions about Him not high enough. People have got different opinions about you but most of them are not really true, they are really low, not correct and poor. They don’t know the real you. They see you through the lens of their thoughts and not through the lens of God. Referred People were comparing to one of the dead not Messiah. Tell someone that your opinion doesn’t really matter about my future. Say I am fearfully and wonderful made marvelous are the works of the Lord in me. I am the workmanship of God. People think it’s not possible to have excellent man and woman. People think it’s not possible have excellent boys and girls who don’t sleep around but wait for their time of marriage. They have false opinions built upon their mistakes.
Christ doctrine and miracles bespoke Him to be an extraordinary person. Still they would not own Him to be the Messiah but could grant Him anything rather than that. Even if they knew it’s Jesus of Nazareth, they would not call Him that. They gave Him their own names to degrade Him.
Your confession concerning Jesus Christ is a matter of life and death (1 John 2:22-27; John 8:22,24). John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” The people of Caesarea would say “Caesar is Lord” but could not say Jesus is Lord. The confession they made about Caesar might have made them loyal Roman citizens but could never save them from their sins and from eternal hell.
The place where Jesus asked His disciple about what they thought, is very strategic. It was a city of Paganism. They worshipped other gods in the city. The disciples could just have said otherwise because of the influence of the city and their surroundings.
Ladies and gentlemen the only confession that can save us in all situations and life is “Jesus is Lord”. This confession should come from a heart that believes in Him. Paul says in Romans 10:9-10 “9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” In Corinthians he says, “2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:1-3).
It is remarkable the number of different opinions that people had about Jesus, though the same may exist today. How could they think He is John the Baptist? Their personalities and ministry were totally different. John came in the spirit and power of Elijah and in a ministry of judgement. Jesus came in the spirit of meekness and service. John performed no miracles (John 10:41); but Jesus was a miracle worker. John was dressed like prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8, Mark 1:6). How could people confuse the two.
Jeremiah was the weeping prophet, Jesus was a man of Sorrows, so this is definitely parallel. Jeremiah called people to true repentance from the heart, so Jesus did. Both were misunderstood and rejected by their own people. Both condemned the false religious leaders and hypocritical worship in the temple. Both persecuted by those in authority, but they were different. Jesus gave every evidence to the people that He was the Son of God, the Messiah and yet they did not get the message.
Instead of diligently speaking the truth, people look for public opinion and follow it, just as many people do today. They had opinions instead of convictions, this is what led them astray. Elbert Hubbard defined public opinion as, “the judgement of incapable many, opposed to that of the discerning few.” Thank God for the discerning few.
When He asked the disciples, they were supposed to come out with a confession that was better than anyone. Because Christ had taken time teaching them. They had found more time and grace than others. The disciples were trained to teach others; therefore it was highly expected/requisite that they should understand the truth themselves. This the question that we should ask ourselves; Who do we say Jesus is? Truly who do we say He is? What kind of one do you say the Lord is? Is He precious to us? Is He in our eye the Chief of ten thousand? Is He the beloved of our soul?
Peter answered in short, but it was full and true and to the purpose. His confession was bold and uncompromising. He said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt 16:16). Here is the confession of Christians addressed to Christ. Here is the confession that Jesus is the Son of the living God in opposition to the dumb and dead idols. This is the conclusion of the matter. He called Himself the Son of Man, but they called Him the Son of the Living God
People had different opinions, but regardless of peoples opinions, the disciples called Him the Son of the living God, who has life in Himself and ready to give life to the world. The word Christ means “the Anointed one, the promised Messiah”. Prophets, priests and kings were all anointed when installed in their office, and the Lord holds all three offices. If He is the son of the living God, he has the same nature with Him. Though His nature was with cloud of flesh but yet they were those (the disciples) who looked through it and saw the His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. I want to encourage you to raise your voice with same assurance of faith. He is the Son of the Living God. I want to encourage you to subscribe to this confession. Let us with fervency of affection and adoration, go to Christ and tell Him so. "Lord Jesus thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
Christ was well pleased with Peter’s answer. The disciple's proficiency of knowledge and grace was very acceptable to Christ. All men had not this knowledge and had not this faith. It free grace that made him to differ. That grace is here today. It was known from God and God must have the glory.
I want you to also know that you are built on the Rock and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. The Church is built on the Rock and the gates of hell shall prevail against her. 'The Church is built on the Rock; a firm, strong and lasting foundation'. Your life and family are built on the Rock and the gates of hell shall prevail against you. The Key of the Doctrine is Christ, Christ is the doctrine of repentance, the doctrine of truth, the doctrine of love, the word, faith, discipline and prayer.