Summary: Glory in Confession (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Matthew chapter 16 verses 15-23.

(1), Background:

(A), Geographically:

Jesus is in what we might call a safe place:

• Jesus and his disciples are in the region of Caesarea Philippi.

• Caesarea Philippi lies about twenty-five miles Northeast of the Sea of Galilee.

• This region was outside the domain of Herod Antipas;

• Who was ruler of northern Galilee).

• And he was outside the domain of the Jewish religious rulers;

• 120 miles from Jerusalem.

• The population of Caesarea was mainly non-Jewish,

• And so he would not be pestered, pressured by people looking for the Messiah.

• In many ways;

• This was the perfect place for Jesus to be alone with his disciples.

(B). Spiritually:

• Jesus could not have chosen a more distracting place to take his disciples;

• Than Caesarea Philippi.

• This region was strongly identified with a whole host of different religions:

• iII: Lunch with Jim - it was ’a Glastonbury’ type situation.

(A). It had been a centre for the old Syrian Baal cult,

• Thompson in his book; "The Land and the book"

• Enumerates no fewer than fourteen such temples in this area.


• The Greek god Pan (the Greek god of nature) had shrines there;

• In fact, this was said to have been his birth place.

• The ancient town actually bore his name "Panias".

• And to this day it is called "Banias".


• In Caesarea, Herod the Great had built a massive temple made of white marble;

• He built it to honour Augustus Caesar,

• It was in this white temple that the most powerful man on the planet;

• The emperor of Rome was worshipped & declared to be god, master of the world.


• It was in the midst of this’ heartland’ of pagan superstition:

• A ‘who’s who’ of ancient religion, that Jesus asked an incredible question.


• Think about it from a human perspective!

• You know the answer to who Jesus is, the disciples have not reached that place yet.

• To the people of Jesus day he was a homeless, penniless carpenter from Nazareth,

• With 12 very ordinary common men as his followers.

• In the south of his country;

• The Jewish leaders are planning and plotting to destroy him.

• He is standing in an area of Galilee that is littered with temples to Syrian gods.

• In a place where ancient Greek gods are believed to look down,

• A place where Caesar worship dominated the landscape and compelled the eye.

• And it is here, of all places,

• This amazing carpenter stands and asks his men a question;

• "Who do they believe him to be?"

• And he asks the question, expecting an answer!

• He is forcing from his disciples a response! Demanding they make a decision!

Jesus has deliberately set himself against the backdrop of world religion:

• This area is their stronghold, their history, their influences, their splendour.

• He is on enemy territory in every sense of the word!

• And notice that Jesus demands to be compared with them,

• But more than that, he expects to get the verdict over them!

(2). A Question (vs 13b);

"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,

"Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

Jesus is in every sense a man on a mission:

• Soon he will be heading south and heading towards the cross,

• The disciples will also play a major part in God’s plan for the world.

• They have no part in the issues of sin and salvation,

• That alone can only be achieved by Jesus Christ.

• But they will play a huge part in proclaiming the message;

• Of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus needs to know whether the disciples have yet grasped who he really is.

• Wisely, to get the disciples willing to talk; he asks them about other people.

• No pressure involved on the disciples, non-threatening question.

(1). Public Opinion

• The disciples have no problem answering that question;

• We are told that there were three popular opinions concerning Jesus:

(A). John raised from the dead.

• John the Baptist was such a powerful and charismatic figure;

• That many people, like Herod, thought Jesus was John raised from the dead.

(B). Elijah.

In comparing Jesus to Elijah, they were saying two things:

• First: Jesus was as great as the greatest prophets.

• Elijah always seemed to be viewed as their most powerful and important prophet.

• Second:

• They were also saying that Jesus was the forerunner to the Messiah.

• Malachi had prophesied that Elijah would come again (Malachi chapter 4 verse 5),

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Abide In Christ
PowerPoint Template
Are You Alive
PowerPoint Template
Emmaus Experience
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion