Jesus while walking with His disciples from Bethsaida to Caesarea Philippi asked His disciples the following two questions recorded in (Matthew 16:13-17). First, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” or put another way, “Who do people actually say I am? Who do they believe me to be?” The disciples replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” An answer many still give today, a high view of Jesus, but sadly a mistaken case of identity, hence Jesus’s second question directed personally at the disciples themselves. “Who do you say I am?” (vs15) or put another way, “Do you agree with them?” A personal question demanding boldness, as it demanded the truth of them the possible turning of their backs on popular opinion and them expressing their own conviction.
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (vs16). In other words, you are the promised Anointed One the Messiah the promised Saviour the one who will reconcile man to God and God to man the One who forgives the repentant heart.
(John 3:16-17) “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
(Galatians 4:4) “But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that they might receive the full rights of sons.”
Peter’s response was not based on rumour or popular opinion but was given by the Father Himself through the work of the Holy Spirit (vs17).
Dear friend, it really does not matter what others may think or say about Jesus, what matters is, “Who do you say Jesus is?”
- Dirk Coetzee (Pastor – Grahamstown Baptist Church)