1.16.09, Matthew 16:13-20

Peter’s Confession of Christ

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

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

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

17  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

The Greatest Idea Ever

No, I haven’t forgotten what book of the Bible we were in.  We were previously in Mark 8, which also has the account of Peter’s confession of Christ.  But the account in Matthew holds an important truth that is not recounted in Mark.  When it comes to reading the gospels, looking at the other corresponding gospel accounts is a good thing to do when you’re stuck because it gives you a different perspective on the event.  Just be careful when comparing it to the gospel of John, because it is a very unique kind of text!

What is unique about Matthew’s account is verse 17, where Jesus says, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”  Now, superficially, this statement seems like a typical biblical statement from Jesus, “blessed is this guy, blessed is that guy”, but there’s more to it than that.  If you expand it out, Jesus essentially tells Peter, “You know that I am the Messiah, not because you could have figured it out on your own, or that anyone could have told you – it was because God revealed it to you.”  The knowledge that Jesus is the promised Messiah is beyond the ultimate human comprehension – it’s greater than Newton and Gravity, beyond Einstein and Relativity – it is the greatest, most world-changing truth ever.

And yet, more often than not, we trivialize this truth, making it out to be something that we learned during Sunday school and nothing more.  It loses its importance, pushed out of the way by studies and worries, and when we are doing especially badly, even seems to lose its truth.  But the truth that Jesus is Savior, YOUR Savior, is the most precious and incredible thing you know, that you could ever know!  It really is nothing less than divine revelation.  Today, try to remember that “Jesus is Savior” is the most amazing and life-changing piece of information that you have in your life, and ever will!

Questions

1. How would you respond if someone asked you, “Why is the fact that Jesus is the promised Messiah and Savior such a big deal to you?”

2. What ideas or concerns do you find takes up most of your time throughout the day?  Your future?  Relationships?  Money?  Grades?  Career?  How does the fact that Jesus is the Messiah affect how you think about and through that idea? 

3. We probably have experienced a moment that “Jesus is Savior” WAS the most incredible thing we had ever heard – maybe when we first accepted Christ, or on a missions trip or retreat, or seeing someone else accept Christ – we just have forgotten it.  Have you ever had a moment when this was true?

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4 thoughts on “1.16.09, Matthew 16:13-20

  1. random q.

    we keep coming across instances where God tells either His disciples or others not to speak of what they have seen and heard. Is there any way God was using reverse psychology? -___-;;

  2. good question, because that is a confusing theme throughout the gospels…

    i don’t think it was specifically reverse psychology. we have to remember that Jesus’ ministry was always focused on the cross, and that work had not been accomplished yet. so letting people know about Jesus was not as important as it was in the early church, because the good news was not quite yet the GOOD NEWS!!!…if you get what i mean.

    but, it is a very good point, that when something amazing and miraculous happens, the assumption is that we have to tell someone about it, that it would be impossible to keep a secret like that! and i think that is the heart of evangelism, that even if someone told us specifically not to tell others what Jesus has done in our lives, that wouldn’t be able to stop us!

  3. “20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.”

    I know this appears many many many times throughout the bible, but, i still don’t understand clearly. why? why doesn’t God want other people to tell OTHER people about him???

  4. argh, deleted comment!

    one way to understand this idea is to remember that at that exact moment in time….the gospel wasn’t completed. Jesus hadn’t died and risen again, and so the good news wasn’t quite fulfilled. so telling others about Jesus would have been only partially effective, and not nearly as effective as after his resurrection.

    and that is why, after the resurrection, you see a dramatic shift. Jesus gives us the great commission, to baptize all people. you see the church in the book of acts telling people about Christ, spreading through jerusalem and samaria. because by that time, the gospel had been fulfilled – they finally had really really good news to tell people…

    and of course, the realization that we have to make is that for our own personal context, we of course fall in the second description: Jesus has died and rose again and so we are called to tell everyone about Jesus Christ.

Comments are closed.

1.16.09, Matthew 16:13-20

Peter’s Confession of Christ

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

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

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

17  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

The Greatest Idea Ever

No, I haven’t forgotten what book of the Bible we were in.  We were previously in Mark 8, which also has the account of Peter’s confession of Christ.  But the account in Matthew holds an important truth that is not recounted in Mark.  When it comes to reading the gospels, looking at the other corresponding gospel accounts is a good thing to do when you’re stuck because it gives you a different perspective on the event.  Just be careful when comparing it to the gospel of John, because it is a very unique kind of text!

What is unique about Matthew’s account is verse 17, where Jesus says, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”  Now, superficially, this statement seems like a typical biblical statement from Jesus, “blessed is this guy, blessed is that guy”, but there’s more to it than that.  If you expand it out, Jesus essentially tells Peter, “You know that I am the Messiah, not because you could have figured it out on your own, or that anyone could have told you – it was because God revealed it to you.”  The knowledge that Jesus is the promised Messiah is beyond the ultimate human comprehension – it’s greater than Newton and Gravity, beyond Einstein and Relativity – it is the greatest, most world-changing truth ever.

And yet, more often than not, we trivialize this truth, making it out to be something that we learned during Sunday school and nothing more.  It loses its importance, pushed out of the way by studies and worries, and when we are doing especially badly, even seems to lose its truth.  But the truth that Jesus is Savior, YOUR Savior, is the most precious and incredible thing you know, that you could ever know!  It really is nothing less than divine revelation.  Today, try to remember that “Jesus is Savior” is the most amazing and life-changing piece of information that you have in your life, and ever will!

Questions

1. How would you respond if someone asked you, “Why is the fact that Jesus is the promised Messiah and Savior such a big deal to you?”

2. What ideas or concerns do you find takes up most of your time throughout the day?  Your future?  Relationships?  Money?  Grades?  Career?  How does the fact that Jesus is the Messiah affect how you think about and through that idea? 

3. We probably have experienced a moment that “Jesus is Savior” WAS the most incredible thing we had ever heard – maybe when we first accepted Christ, or on a missions trip or retreat, or seeing someone else accept Christ – we just have forgotten it.  Have you ever had a moment when this was true?

4 thoughts on “1.16.09, Matthew 16:13-20

  1. random q.

    we keep coming across instances where God tells either His disciples or others not to speak of what they have seen and heard. Is there any way God was using reverse psychology? -___-;;

  2. good question, because that is a confusing theme throughout the gospels…

    i don’t think it was specifically reverse psychology. we have to remember that Jesus’ ministry was always focused on the cross, and that work had not been accomplished yet. so letting people know about Jesus was not as important as it was in the early church, because the good news was not quite yet the GOOD NEWS!!!…if you get what i mean.

    but, it is a very good point, that when something amazing and miraculous happens, the assumption is that we have to tell someone about it, that it would be impossible to keep a secret like that! and i think that is the heart of evangelism, that even if someone told us specifically not to tell others what Jesus has done in our lives, that wouldn’t be able to stop us!

  3. “20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.”

    I know this appears many many many times throughout the bible, but, i still don’t understand clearly. why? why doesn’t God want other people to tell OTHER people about him???

  4. argh, deleted comment!

    one way to understand this idea is to remember that at that exact moment in time….the gospel wasn’t completed. Jesus hadn’t died and risen again, and so the good news wasn’t quite fulfilled. so telling others about Jesus would have been only partially effective, and not nearly as effective as after his resurrection.

    and that is why, after the resurrection, you see a dramatic shift. Jesus gives us the great commission, to baptize all people. you see the church in the book of acts telling people about Christ, spreading through jerusalem and samaria. because by that time, the gospel had been fulfilled – they finally had really really good news to tell people…

    and of course, the realization that we have to make is that for our own personal context, we of course fall in the second description: Jesus has died and rose again and so we are called to tell everyone about Jesus Christ.

Comments are closed.