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!
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?