Summary: Satan will seek to have us doubt many of the promises of God but if we believe that Jesus Christ is the SOn of God then our faith will be sealed for everything else. This is the foundation of our faith. It requires the greatest faith to believe that a man
The Greatest Faith
It was probably one of those warm sunny Jewish days with puffs of clouds moving lazily overhead when Jesus held the last retreat with his twelve disciples. The place was Caesarea Philippi, a northern Gentile city which was the site for the oldest and newest centers of pagan worship. The god of nature, Pan, was worshipped in a cave at this site and more recently, a shining white marble temple had been built for the worship of Caesar. It was in the midst of these idolatries, old and new, that Jesus asked his disciples the most profound and soul searching question ever asked: who do you say that I am? He received from Peter one of the most inciteful answers ever given: ¡§You are the Christ, the Son of the living God¡¨ (Matt. 16:16). So profound was this answer that Jesus declared: Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. He continued to state; and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Today we will seek to examine the depths of this confession. Thou art the Son of the Living God.
You are the Christ the son of the LIVING God¡¨ Did Peter really understand what he was saying? Could he really appreciate the depths to which this testimony went? Peter not only testified that Jesus was the Messiah but his last phrase ¡¥the Son of the Living God¡¨ leaves the mind in a state of shock. What was it that caused Peter to make such a confession?
Jesus had no halo around his head
Neither was there any bright light shining around him all the time.
John states in St. John 1:32-34
[St. John1: 32-34]And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
John admits that he would not have been totally sure that Jesus was the Messiah had it not been for the sign of the Spirit descending on Him as a dove and remaining on him. This sign was given to John by God so that he would be able to identify the Son of God with accuracy. Nothing was left to chance.
Brothers and sisters there was nothing significant about Jesus¡¦ appearance which would cause persons to believe he was any different from another. In fact Isaiah clarifies it even further by stating in chapter 53:2¡K He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty in him that we should desire him.
Jesus¡¦ appearance therefore was like any other. He was not endowed with anything special but his character and actions made all the difference. Peter had never met a man like Jesus yet. The things that Jesus did had left Peter dumb founded. Peter was keeping company with a man who:
Could speak to the waves and the wind and they obey him. Matt. 8:26
Peter was keeping company with a man who:
walk on water. Matt. 14:25
Peter actually saw Jesus take seven loaves and a few fish and feed over four thousand people. Matt. 14:13-21
He saw a woman healed by just touching the garment of the master. Matt. 9:20
Peter witnessed the dead raised to life. Matt. 9:25
The blind given sight, the dumb speak and deaf begin to hear. Matt.9:27 -33
Jesus just kept on amazing Peter. Never in all his life had Peter ever met a man quite like Jesus Christ. Yet all this could not have been enough evidence for Peter to declare, ¡§you are the Son of the Living God.¡¨ To equate a man as equal with God goes beyond logical reasoning, such can only be accounted for in the realm of faith. Faith put in place by the Holy Spirit. No normal thinking Jew would dare venture to call another person ¡§the Son of God.¡¨ It had to be by divine intervention. Peter was ever conscious that this was the same God is the God who
„« created the heavens and the earth
„« brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt
„« opened up the Red Sea and allowed the Israelites to pass through
„« led them in the desert for 40 years and then into the promise land
„« It is the supreme God Jehovah who bought down the walls of Jericho and made the sun to stand still in vale of Ajalon!!