Peter’s confession of who Jesus is halfway through Matthew’s Gospel is amazing
Jesus had taken his disciples north again, to get some privacy and teach them. They were 25 miles north east of the Sea of Galilee to a place that Herod Philip had named Caesarea after the Roman Caesar (teacher’s pet!). It was supposed to be the birthplace of the pagan fertility Pan, the source of the River Jordan with lots of pagan temples around. Towering above the city, was a huge temple to the emperor. An astonishingly dark and pagan place. Mixing different faith was as popular then as it is in our internet saturated global village. Claiming Jesus is the only way to God is as offensive to many now as it was then. What a place for Jesus to ask “Who do you say I am?”
Peter’s reply “You are the Christ, the Son of God”.
Christ is seen now to be Jesus’ surname! It’s a title – “anointed one”. It is the one who would coem and fulfill the hope of a nation. In Old Testament history three types of people were anointed with oil – prophets, priest and Kings. Jesus is the Perfect High Priest who puts people in touch with Father God. He is the perfect Prophet who reveals God’s heart . He is the perfect King who exercises God’s sovereign rule of God’s people.
An amazing place, amazing titles and amazing insight…
Jesus isn’t just the anointed one – this carpenter/teacher is far more than that. He is, Peter now sees, the Son of the Living God. Once before they had called him Son of God when he rescued them from a furious squall. Now coolly, calmly, thoughtfully Peter sees who Jesus is. He is God’s final self-disclosure – the one who would fulfil 2 Sam 7:14 to establish David’s throne forever. The fulfilment of Psalm 2:7 the king who is really the Son of God.
Jesus acknowldges that the Father has revealed this to Peter – only God can reveal God and God has revealed it to Peter. It takes a revelation from God to see this Jesus, great craftsman, itinerant preacher, dismissed as batty by his family, illegitimate by many and who would be condemned to die, to see that He really is God whop has come to save us.
There are three confessions of who Jesus is. The first confession of Christ is an emotional reaction to rescue from a storm (14:33). This one is considered. The third one is from the High Priest at Jesus’ trial and is part of Jesus’ condemnation to death (26:63).
Who do you say Jesus is?
- In a crisis many will cry out to Him and forget Him shortly after.
- Many reject him as just a good teacher
- How about you?