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Matthew 16:13-28: Who Do You Say I Am?

Posted by adventbiblestudy on March 18, 2012


 

Who do you say I am?

Who do you say I am?

Matthew 16:13-28 MKJV And coming into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say Me to be, the Son of Man? (14) And 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 I am? (16) And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. (17) Jesus answered and said to him, You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father 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 hell shall not prevail against it. (19) And I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven to you. And whatever you may bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you may loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven. (20) Then He warned His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. (21) From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. (22) Then Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him, saying, God be gracious to You, Lord! This shall never be to You. (23) But He turned and said to Peter, Go, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you do not savor the things that are of God, but those that are of men. (24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. (25) For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it. (26) For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (27) For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He shall reward each one according to his works. (28) Truly I say to you, There are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

Jesus and His disciples traveled the better part of the day. Peter was beginning to wonder when they were going to eat. This reminded him of the lesson Jesus taught earlier, the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Peter had been considering the lesson Jesus was teaching, not to rely on the understanding of the world. His mind went over other doctrines Jesus challenged, washing hands, eating grain on the Sabbath, and of course healing on the Sabbath. Peter began to reconsider Jesus’ responses. What comes out of the mouth? It must be words that defile a man. He also remembered how Jesus asked them why it was lawful for David to eat shewbread, and how Jesus had declared Himself Lord of the Sabbath. He also wondered what was going through the minds of the priests when Jesus asked them if it was legal to heal on the Sabbath. Peter could see how their doctrines were blocking their minds from understanding the lessons Jesus was teaching. He could understand how some one may misunderstand one or two of Jesus’ responses, but how could they miss every single one?

When Mount. Hermon came into view the disciples knew they were approaching Caesarea Philippi. When they neared the base of the mountain, Jesus turned and asked, “Who do men say Me to be, the Son of Man?” Jesus phrased His question in the form of a test. He wanted to see if they had been paying attention to His previous lessons. As He had expected they answered, “Some say, John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” They provided an answer according to the manner Jesus had phrased the question. He asked, “why do men say….” Jesus wanted to see if they were thinking beyond the world, or if they were satisfied with the wisdom of the world.

Jesus gave them the chance to show their thoughts extended beyond this world by asking, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter immediately answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus looked at Peter. At last He could see His disciples were looking beyond what was in front of the eyes. Jesus was happy to know, they were ready to step out in faith. He knew they were ready for the next lesson. He introduced it by answering Peter, “You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in Heaven.” It was important for them to recognizee the voice of the Spirit, and trust in it. To show them how much of a blessing this was, Jesus added, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven to you. And whatever you may bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you may loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven.”

Jesus knew His disciples did not understand all the details of what they just heard. They viewed His comments to Peter as a reward for His answer. Although Peter was beginning to see beyond worldly beliefs, He did not have a full understanding of the spiritual world around him. Because they did not fully understand, Jesus warned His disciples they should not tell anyone He was Jesus the Christ.

Jesus knew this was the time to begin the next phase of the lessons they had to learn while He was still with them. It pressed on Jesus’ heart like a heavy load, but the time had come to explain how He must one day go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. John was beginning to understand why Jesus had told the Pharisees to study the story of Jonah. While John and the other disciples were considering Jesus’ comments, Peter once again quickly answered. “God be gracious to You, Lord! This shall never be done to You.

Jesus knew Peter spoke up out of love for Him. He appreciated the dedication, but could not allow Peter, or any of the other disciples to think they could change the prophecies that must be fulfilled. He knew exactly who was influencing Peter and wanted no misunderstanding. He answered Peter, Go, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you do not savor the things that are of God, but those that are of men.” This was the lesson Jesus had been teaching the past few days. He did not want them to miss the point. Satan gains his advantage by mixing everything that comes from God with lies which become traditions and doctrines of men. Jesus wanted His disciples to know where those ideas came from. He also knew Satan would do everything in his power to stop Him. He know Satan would try to use those closest to Him in any way he could.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and Jesus Rebukes Peterfollow Me.” Jesus introduced the cross in a personal manner. He wanted them to understand the work of salvation would not end with His death on the cross, but open a new chapter in God’s plan. Jesus continued, “For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever desires to lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Jesus knew the troubles and temptations His disciples were to face at His trial and crucifixion. He wanted to prepare them to face the obstacles ahead. The best way to do this was to give them hope for the future. Jesus added, “For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He shall reward each one according to his works. Truly I say to you, There are some standing here who shall not taste of death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Jesus introduced the prophecies written about Him with a short, simple, personal prophecy about Himself and His disciples. Jesus knew about the meeting His Fathers had arranged. He wanted them to understand how prophecies are revealed. This was an important skill they had to learn to develop so they could properly fulfill their commission.

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