Summary: Who do men say that I am? This is an awesome passage showing that the knowledge of who Jesus is comes from only God Himself. This is a grand statement on the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Verse 18 however has been hijacked and the truth must be told.
This week was the beginning of lent.
Lent was based on a 40 day fast that some people did in the early church attempting to emulate the 40 day fast of Jesus that took place immediately after His baptism. Over the years it has become connected with the 40 days preceding the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Lent is not a command of God such as the Feast of Tabernacles or the Passover were for the Jews. It is, in essence, an invention of man and not of God.
That does not make it either good or bad, it just is. However, if we make it a necessary step of salvation or if we feel “holier than thou” when we observe lent and someone else does not, then it does become sinful.
If the Lord is calling you to give something up for this period of time then do it. If the Lord is calling you to do something extra during this period of time, such as more time in the Scriptures or more prayer, then do it.
We should always be seeking a closer walk with the Lord, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you start spending more time thinking about what you’re giving up and less about the Lord then by all means take time to refocus.
But, today we will be answering the question, "Who is Jesus?!?!?!"
This is the most important question in the universe!
Some say Jesus was a great teacher.
Muslims say Jesus was a prophet but not God.
The Mormons say that Jesus is the Son of God but a totally separate being from God the Father and the Holy Spirit and that He is the brother of Lucifer.
Some say that Jesus never lived and that He is the wishful thinking of demented minds.
So, Jesus asks the question of His disciples.
My simplistic Rules of Biblical interpretation.
1) God knows we’re dense so He never says something that is really important only once!
2) We must always take into account the context.
3) With major ideas about God you will always find grand overarching themes throughout the Bible. (We are dense)
So Jesus asks the question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?
Matthew 16:13-20 (NASB)
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’
“And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’
“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
“Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.”