Summary: Jesus is at once fully God & fully man, making him both able to understand our condition and able to save us from it.
It’s a question we’ll all have to answer!
Maybe you’ve already answered it and it was years ago; maybe you have yet to answer it; but rest assured
we will ALL answer it at some point!
Whether you grew up in church in a Christian family, or maybe you came to be exposed to Jesus much
later in life... we’re all asked that same basic question in life as the disciples, “Who do YOU say that I am?”
The story in the text read a moment ago is a remarkable one. Turn to Matthew 16:13-ff if you’re not
already there. I picture myself there among the disciples. I had grown being told the stories of the Bible;
how God had created the Heavens & the Earth; how he had sent a great flood to destroy the wickedness,
but delivered Noah & his family; how God had done mighty deeds through Moses and prophets who would
follow him... I had been told about Jesus. I could still see the flannel-graph pictures of the baby Jesus lying
in the manger; or him teaching in the synagogue. I had been brought to tears with images of a dying
Jesus hanging on the cross; laboring for just another breath! My parents had made sure that I was in Bible
class; that I behaved in worship; that I participated in youth activities... I knew the answer to most of the
Bible-bowl questions... “Who do others say that I am?” “Well, Jesus, some think you’re really John the
Baptist. Others think you’re Elijah come back.” And there were those who thought him to be Jeremiah or
another one of the prophets. I could tell you what everybody else SAID about Jesus. But then, Jesus
himself, looks me in the eye and says, “But who do YOU say that I am?” What would you say?
Can’t you just imagine the tension in the room at that point? I wonder if there was an awkward silence? I
imagine that there was as the question hung in the air. Nathanael cautiously clears his throat. Andrew
embarrassingly ducks his eyes. John nervously chews on a fingernail. Judas continues picking his teeth.
Who will be the one to answer? Of course, Peter will! And what’s remarkable- this time he gets it right!
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It was a bold confession; filled with more meaning than
Peter perhaps realized or intended. But a powerful statement.
We are continuing our series: Jesus, Name Above All Names this morning... We’ve been taking a look at
various names given to Jesus throughout Scripture and seeing our each one gives us a richer and more
full picture of who Jesus is! The very name “Jesus” means “God is salvation.” His name is a promise to
save us! He is “Messiah” or “Christ”; our King & we are his subjects. He is “Immanuel” or “God with us”;
God in the flesh! He is our “Righteous Advocate” who intercedes to the Father on our behalf, pleading our
case before him. And this morning I want us to look at the two titles mentioned of Jesus in this text: “Son
of God” and “Son of Man.”
They seem almost contradictory, don’t they? How can Jesus be BOTH “Son of God” & “Son of Man”?
What do those terms imply? It is obvious from this text in Matthew that BOTH terms are used to describe
Jesus. It is Jesus who asks, “Who do others say the Son of Man is?” referring to himself. The other
gospels make this abundantly clear as they record him saying, “Who do others say that I am?” Then you
have Peter’s dynamic confession that he is the “Son of God!” So what does it mean then to say of Jesus
that he is not only the Son of God, but also the Son of Man? I would say to you this morning: THAT is THE
most profound mystery of the gospel! But it is also the essence of the gospel!
Let’s begin by taking a look at the “Son-ship” of Jesus
In our culture we typically use the term “son of...” to talk about somebody’s origin... where they came from.
“Who’s your daddy?” Its used that way in Scripture to be sure... ex. vs. 17 Jesus blesses Peter for his
great confession and says to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man,
but by my Father in Heaven.” Simon Peter’s daddy was named Jonah. But its also common in Eastern &
Semitic cultures to use the expression to describe a person’s nature. That is why we also get expression
like “sons of light” or “Son of Encouragement” in our Bibles. It is a way to describe what a person is like.