Summary: We learn three truths as we consider our Lord's dialogue with Simon Peter when He asked, "Who do you say that I am?"
When Jesus asked this question of His disciples, it was Peter who provided the answer Jesus wanted to hear. In what Jesus said to Peter afterwards, we learn three valuable truths.
1. Knowing Christ comes from the revelation of God - v. 17
Many today say they know who Jesus is. But what they say about Jesus reveals that they have not had the revelation of God concerning Him. The fact is that Jesus is more than a significant person of history. He is more than a good example. He is more than a prophet of God. He is more than a wise teacher. He is more than the founder of Christianity. He is what the Father revealed to Peter’s heart - the Christ, the Son of the living God! There are three thoughts from Peter’s response:
A. Longing - The Christ, the Son of the living God!
Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the one Israel had longed for; and He is also the answer that men are searching for today. Only Jesus can satisfy the longing of your heart!
B. Loving - The Christ, the Son of the living God!
Jesus is the Son of God. The Son who, because of the love of the Father, was sacrificed for the salvation of men (John 3:16)!
C. Living - The Christ, the Son of the living God!
Jesus is the Son of the living God! He is a living Savior, who is ready to enter into and make a difference in our lives today!
Unless you know who Jesus is through the revelation of God, you do not really know Jesus as you need to know Him [John 3:3 (born “from above”)]. Have you been “born again,” “born from above?” Have you experienced the work of God in your heart to make known to you the fact that Jesus died for you and rose from the dead for you? Have you come to see, by the work of the Spirit of God, that Jesus is the answer to all your questions, the fulfillment of all your longings? Have you sensed the call of God upon your heart to receive Jesus as your
personal Savior and have you said “yes” to Him?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” – Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” – John 6:44 (NIV)
You can know Christ intellectually and you can know Him personally. To know Christ on an intellectual level is to know about Him. To know Christ on a personal level is to know Him. It is one thing to know about a sports hero, and quite another thing to be a friend of that athlete. You can read every news article on your hero, memorize every stat, and collect every piece of memorabilia yet never really know the athlete himself. To truly know a sports hero, you would have to do more than watch him play. You would have to have a relationship with him.
When we truly know Jesus, it’s on the basis of a relationship. And that comes into being by God’s revelation of Christ to you personally. When one knows Christ personally, there is full assurance of salvation.
“The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.” - Romans 8:16 (Amplified)
2. Growing like Christ comes by His revelation to us - v. 18
When Peter announced who Jesus was, Jesus declared who Peter was, “I tell you that you are Peter . . .” The Lord goes from asking,
“Who do you say that I am,” to saying, “Here’s who I say that you are.” Peter had been called Simon. But when Peter came to know who Jesus was, Jesus revealed who He (Jesus) saw him to be. He was “Peter.”
“Peter” means, “Rock,” but he was anything but rock-like. He was impetuous, hot-tempered, and wishy-washy. Peter would fail Jesus many times in many ways, yet Jesus looked him in the eye and said, “I tell you that you are the Rock.” Despite what he was at the time, and despite what others saw him to be, Jesus saw what Simon, through his relationship with Christ, could become. The same is true of us.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” - Philippians 2:13 (NLT)