Then He asked them, "But who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:15-16
Any good teacher knows that simply telling their students the answer to a question is not the best teaching method because it is not the most conducive to learning. For the best learning, a student must think and discover answers for themselves. For example, a teacher can tell their student that one plus one equals two, but until that student adds up two items, they will not fully understand. Being the master teacher, Jesus understood this too. This is particularly evident in Matthew 16.
In Matthew 16, Jesus was talking to His disciples. During their conversation, He asked, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" (verse 13). The disciples answered the question, claiming that some people thought He was John the Baptist, Elijah, the prophet Jeremiah, or another prophet (verse 14). He then asked, "But who do you say I am?". Jesus asked this question because He was not concerned about who they heard other people say He was. Instead, He wanted to know who they believed Him to be. His disciple, Peter, often quick to give an answer, said, "You are the Messiah [or Christ], the Son of the living God." Peter's answer shows that he recognized that Jesus was Christ, the Promised One from God. Jesus responded by telling Peter that because of his confession, he was going to be instrumental in building the church. This clearly was a pivotal moment in Peter's life because understanding who Jesus is changes everything. It did for Peter. It does for you, too.
Naturally, after studying these verses, we must ask ourselves the same question Jesus asked Peter. Who do we say Jesus is? Is Jesus just a good person who lived hundreds of years ago to you or is He the Christ, the anointed Son of God? Do you believe He has power to rescue you from a life of monotony to a life of meaning? Who do you say Jesus is?
With your journal or notebook, answer the question, "Who do I say Jesus is?" As you answer the question, consider how He has worked in your life and His faithfulness to you.
Read Matthew 16:1-20 (NLT)
One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus, demanding that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.
He replied, “You know the saying, ‘Red sky at night means fair weather tomorrow; red sky in the morning means foul weather all day.’ You know how to interpret the weather signs in the sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the signs of the times! Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then Jesus left them and went away.
Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. “Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”
Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
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.
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