Master to Messiah Day 18
Week 4 >> Day 3
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus Predicts His Death
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.
But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.
And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
Jesus takes His disciples to Caesarea Philippi, an area that is more prominently populated by Gentiles, and He asks them, “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus is not dependent on the opinions of mankind, and wants to be certain the disciples are not either. He then asks the more important follow-up question, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter speaks up immediately. He has now been with Jesus long enough that he has a very firm and definite opinion of whom he is following: “the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”
Jesus compliments Peter on his confession and tells him that His Father in heaven revealed this knowledge to him. What a relief this must be for Peter! So many times he has reverted to fear or doubt and has not given Jesus the respect, honor and trust that He deserves. Peter has finally gotten it right! He finally understands the majestic, beyond human, one-and-only, pure and holy nature of Jesus Christ.
Over the previous three years, Peter has become a rock as God transformed his impetuous character into a strong, solid, and steady man of God. Jesus declares that upon the confession that Peter makes concerning Christ, He will build His Church. He promises that the powers of hell will never prevail against the Church.
Jesus reveals more about the coming days and His suffering and death. This must be a shock to the disciples because they do not think of the Messiah as a suffering Messiah. Peter makes a grave mistake by rebuking Jesus for the things He is saying will happen. Maybe Peter has become too confident in his own ability to hear from God. Or perhaps it is just zealous loyalty that causes Peter to speak so boldly. Whatever the reason, Jesus
identifies it as an attack from Satan, because it is based on a purely human point of view.
Addressing all of His disciples, Jesus then explains to them the cost of discipleship and the great paradox; to save our life, we must lose it.
Ask God to use you in a powerful way to “build His Church”. Ask God to show you specific ways you can participate in the building of the Kingdom of God.
- Why did Jesus want the disciples to identify how others view Jesus? Why is it more important that the disciples identify how they view Jesus themselves?
- How would you respond today if Jesus asked you, “Who do you say that I am?”
- How does your life reflect that answer?