13 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?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Revelation of the Church
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.
Commentary: Jesus and the disciples removed themselves from the region around the Sea of Galilee and went north about 30 miles to Caesarea Philippi, that is, Caesarea in the tetrarchy of Herod Philip, Antipas’ brother. There Jesus questioned the disciples about their faith in Him. He asked them what the people were saying about Him. Their replies were all flattering, for people were identifying Jesus with John the Baptist . . . Elijah . . . Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. His teachings were certainly similar to theirs. All these answers, of course, were wrong. He then asked the disciples, But what about you? Who do you say I am?
Speaking for the disciples, Peter spoke his now-famous words, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. As “the Christ,” He is the Messiah. Ho christos is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament māšîaḥ, which means “the anointed One.” In Him are fulfilled all the promises of God to the nation. And as the Old Testament made clear, the Messiah is more than a human being; He is God (Isa. 9:6; Jer. 23:5-6; Micah 5:2). Peter thus acknowledged Jesus’ deity as the Son of the living God. The disciples had come to this conclusion as they observed the Lord Jesus over a period of time, witnessed His miracles, and heard His words.
Peter’s words brought a word of commendation from the Lord. Peter was blessed because he had come to a correct conclusion about the person of Christ and because great blessing would be brought into his life. The Lord added, however, this was not a conclusion Peter had determined by his own or others’ ability. God, the Father in heaven, had revealed it to him. Peter was living up to his name (it means “rock”) for he was demonstrating himself to be a rock. When the Lord and Peter first met, Jesus had said Simon would be named Cephas (Aram. for “rock”) or Peter (Gr. for “rock”; John 1:41-42).
But his declaration about Messiah’s person led to a declaration of Messiah’s program. Peter (Petros, masc.) was strong like a rock, but Jesus added that on this rock (petra, fem.) He would build His church. Because of this change in Greek words, many conservative scholars believe that Jesus is now building His church on Himself. Others hold that the church is built on Peter and the other apostles as the building’s foundation stones. Still other scholars say that the church is built on Peter’s testimony. It seems best to understand that Jesus was praising Peter for his accurate statement about Him, and was introducing His work of building the church on Himself.
Building His church was a yet-future work of Jesus Christ, for He had not yet started the process. He said, I will build (future tense) My church, but His program for the nation Israel had to be concluded before another program could be set in motion. This is probably why Jesus said not even the gates of Hades would overcome this program. Jews would understand Hades’, Gates to refer to physical death. Jesus was thus telling the disciples His death would not prevent His work of building the church. Later He spoke of His imminent death. He was therefore anticipating His death and His victory over death through the Resurrection.
His church would then begin to be built, starting on the day of Pentecost, and Peter and the other apostles would have important roles in it. He declared that Peter would be given significant authority, the keys of the kingdom of heaven. A “key” was a sign of authority, for a trusted steward kept the keys to his master’s possessions and dispensed them accordingly and “the key of David” (which Jesus possessed). Peter was told he would possess the keys and be able to bind and loose people. These were decisions Peter was to implement as he received instruction from heaven, for the binding and loosing occurred there first. Peter simply carried out God’s directions. This privilege of binding and loosing was seen in Peter’s life as he had the privilege on the day of Pentecost to proclaim the gospel and announce to all those who responded in saving faith that their sins had been forgiven (Acts 2). He was able to do the same thing with the household of Cornelius. The same privilege was given all the disciples.
After making this great declaration about His future church program, Jesus told the disciples not to tell anyone that He is the Christ, the Messiah. The Lord knew it was too late for the nation to respond to His offer, and His rejection was drawing near. There was no reason for His disciples to be trying to convince a nation that had already turned from Him.
You know sometimes we forget or simply just don’t realize how important Jesus is to our individual lives, whether it is mentally, physically or spiritually. Jesus affects our lives in so many different ways it is just mind boggling. And you know what? He affects our lives in a positive way. It is my personal belief that the more we know about Jesus the better sons and daughters of God we become. Possibly, because it was through Jesus that everything that was created, including me and you. was created by God through His Son Jesus Christ.
God is holy and cannot be around sin, so He gave Jesus and the Holy Spirit the same powers and wisdom that He has and had Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit create everything that was created and they sustain it all. Then God put Jesus over all of heaven and earth until sin and rebellion has been terminated and the earth has been re-formed new again just like it was before sin took over heaven and the earth. Therefore, Jesus knows everything about us, our needs, our wants, if we really love Him, and anything else in your life that has ever happened to you and everything that will happen to you in the future. That makes Jesus the One you should most definitely know personally, not that you should not learn about God the Father. Pray to God about anything and everything and then end the prayer by praying in Jesus name. He is the One and Only mediator between us and God. He will defend us before God when we sin and then repent. Jesus is our most precious asset given to us by God the Father that mankind or angels may ever have. He literally is our Lord and Savior and will be with us for eternity.
Hearts can be renewed by Jesus. Christ can make a heart strong. God can create a new clean heart. The Lord can cleanse the heart and renew its spirit.
Where there is no sin, there is no wrath, but there will always be faith, hope, love and holiness. Therefore those who have faith, hope, love and holiness will always be found in Jesus’ Book of Life.
God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?
Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the promises of God’s blessings in His time.
Prayer: Father in heaven, We praise You for sending Your Son and the Holy Spirit to earth to bring us the new testament and a new way of life. We praise You for Your loving thoughts and gracious ways toward us. We pray that we may learn to live as You have ask of us and then hold on until our Lord and Savior comes for us.
May God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights, our safety nets and our inspiration for loving happiness in all of your Kingdom. Father into Your hands I commend my spirit. Not my will but Yours be done. Please come Lord Jesus.
We pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit,