Summary: Our Lord has a way of cutting right through the fluff and getting straight to what is important. Peter was really set up to answer this question. It is the most important question any of us could ever be asked, as well.
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’’
14. So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’’
15. He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?’’
Our Lord has a way of cutting right through the fluff and getting straight to what is important. Peter was really set up to answer this question. Actually, this was the most important question Peter was ever asked. In fact, it is the most important question any of us could ever be asked as well. Lets read the rest of this passage…
16. And Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’’
17. Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
18. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’’
When we are judged, it will be how we have answered this question that matters. Where we spend eternity hangs on how we answer this question. However, at that point in time it will be too late to receive eternal life. The time to answer the question is now. Now determines how we are to spend later.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
All will stand before God and we will confess Jesus as Lord, you will know then that it is too late, we are given the opportunity now to make the decision that matters.
Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
One way or another all will confess Jesus as Lord.
Jesus asked who do men say that I am? They answered, some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?’’
Then Jesus came right to the point, and asked Simon Peter who do you say that I am? Peter did not hesitate, he immediately responded, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Peter responded with the truth from his heart. This simple acknowledgement of faith is the key to eternal life, and as far as that is concerned, all of God’s promises. Jesus went on to tell Peter that he was blessed because of this acknowledgement. He said the Father has revealed this to you, and because of your acknowledgement of this fact, you are blessed.
Because of the acknowledgement of this revealed truth, Peter passed from death to life.
This is the same way we all have to come to the Father; there is no other way. The Father will reveal Jesus to us, not flesh and blood, but the Father Himself through the working of the Holy Spirit, will make Jesus known to you. Then the decision is up to us what we do with this truth. Jesus helped Peter by prompting him with this question, Who do you say that I am?
You see, Peter had to answer the question. One way or another the question must be answered in order for us to receive the promise of eternal life. Each of us must come to this point after we have received this revealed knowledge to act on it or ignore it. You might think why is it such a big deal, I go to church, I’m a good person, I’m involved in my community. I would say these things are good, but not what God is requiring to receive His promise of eternal life. Millions of people hear the Gospel message, receive revelation knowledge by the Holy Spirit, and do nothing with what they have received. They receive the ability to receive the very life of God, and do nothing with it. The truth is, it happens every single day. People ignore the greatest gift ever given, not placing much importance on the most important thing.
Jesus certainly knew the importance of this question when He asked Peter, and went on to explain the truth to Peter and to all of us as well. He said, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Without revelation, we can not come, and without hearing, we can not receive revelation. This is the primary way the faith comes, and that is revelation by the Holy Spirit.