Peter’s Confession

Prussian king Frederick the Great was once touring a Berlin prison. The prisoners fell on their knees before him to proclaim their innocence-except for one man, who remained silent. Frederick called to him, “Why are you here?” armed robbery, Your Majesty,” was the … More

Confession

We find Jesus in Gentile territory in the region of Caesarea Philippi, about 120 miles north of Jerusalem (v. 13). This region had been a center of Baal worship and a place where Herod the Great had built a temple to honor Augustus Caesar. Jesus was seeking to lead His disciples into a deeper spiritual walk by means of the question and answer method (v. 14). The big question was: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Jesus has no interest in dispassionate, hypothetical views regarding His person and work. He wants to know what you think about Him. It seems that Jesus asked this question to get the disciples to state the various opinions of the people and then to declare their own true conviction (v. 15). The replies varied for people were identifying Jesus with John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Peter spoke up and said “You are the Christ the Son of the living God.”

Peter’s confession brought a word of commendation from the Lord (vv. 16-17). Then Jesus made a statement that has caused much discussion in the religious world for many years. When He said; “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church” (v. 18). The Roman Catholic interpretation of this statement is that the rock is Peter who became bishop of Rome, the head of the Church, and this leadership has been passed on to his successors, to the present pope. Most Evangelical conservative scholars however believe, that the word rock refers to Himself and that He is now building His Church on Himself. This interpretation is consistent with (I Cor. 3:11). Jesus then promised to Peter and the other apostles the keys of the kingdom (vv. 19-20). This means that Peter would have the right to enter the kingdom himself, and preaching the gospel would be the means of opening the kingdom of heaven to all believers and shutting it against unbelievers.

Application

Many today would only consider Jesus as a historical figure or just a good person we should pattern our life after. He is my Savior and one with whom I should be cultivating a personal relationship.

Matthew 16:13-20 (English Standard Version)

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

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