Who do you say that I am?
Matthew 16:13-16 When Jesus came into the region
of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men
say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John
the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."He
said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered
and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
in those days at the time of Jesus, there were many opinions about who
Jesus was; and Jesus once asked his disciples when they were in Caesarea
Philippi, about who the people thought that He was. Those who said that
Jesus is John the Baptist, thought highly of Jesus; for Jesus himself
said that John the Baptist was more than just a prophet. (Matt. 11:9)
In addition, the people who believed that Jesus was Elijah had a high
opinion of Him, for every Jew knew what was written about Elijah: As
the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be
dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. (1 Ki. 17:1)
And this was only one of the miracles among many which Elijah did in the
name of the Lord. Then there were also those who believed that Jesus was
Jeremiah, which meant that they also highly esteemed Jesus, for it was
written about Jeremiah: See, I have this day set thee over the nations
and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy,
and to throw down, to build, and to plant. (Jer. 1:10)
Then Jesus asked his disciples: "Who do you say that I am?"
"Simon Peter answered and said: "You are Christ, the living
Son of God!" In regards to this answer Jesus then confirms to
the disciples that, Peter did not receive the revelation from human beings
but rather from God Himself. The Jews understood the term "Christ"
or "the living Son of God", not as a second person of a Trinity
(for the highest confession of faith of the Jews is the Schema Israel:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD." Deut.
6:4), but rather, they knew that this is the Messiah, that is, God manifested
in flesh (see 1.Tim. 3:16).
Even today, many people do not have the revelation of who Jesus is. This
revelation only comes from the Holy Spirit: "Howbeit when he,
the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth."
(Job 16:13) The Moslems believe that Jesus is only a prophet, and
also in Christianity, many only see Him as a second person in a Trinitarian
Godhead (this concept is not biblical); whereas other people only believe
that Jesus was a good or holy person, and many simply do not believe anything.
However, when you acknowledge and confess that Jesus is the omnipotent
God, then you also are blessed: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona
for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which
is in heaven." (Matt. 16:17) The time will come when every knee
shall bow and tongue confess that He is the Lord (Phil. 2:10).
Whoever does not give Jesus the glory here in his or her life, is, instead,
giving it to someone else who does not deserve it. If a person goes his
own way, then he will be lost; however, if we allow the Spirit of God,
who works with everyone, to guide us, then we will be led into the whole
truth, which can only be found in Jesus Christ, and we will confess Him
to be: My Lord and my God. (John 20:28) This is a "great mystery",
which can be read about in 1. Tim.3:16. Your answer to the question about
who Jesus is will decide over your faith and your obedience to God, and
also about how close you are to Him; for how can you have a close relationship
with someone who you do not know or really know in the true sense? ct
Additional verses to study:
Micah 5:1; Is.9:6-7; Is.43:10-ll; Is.44:6,8; Matt.l:23; John 14:9-10;
John 1-14; Phil. 2:6-11; Col.2:9; John 8:58; 1.John 5:20; Rev. 1:8; etc.