When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16
Jesus took His disciples to an area removed from the crowds that sought Him to ask them this important question. Who do you say that I am? When the Lord asks who the people say He is, Jesus was referring to the commoners, for it was clear what the Pharisees and Sadducees thought of Him. When He asks with the word ‘you’, the word in this case is plural. In other words it’s like Jesus was asking, “Who do you all say I am?” Peter, as he was inclined to do, spoke up for the twelve. He was also the one who spoke up for the disciples when others had turned away from following Jesus. The Lord then asked the question, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" While the ‘you’ was plural here as well, Peter was the one who spoke up and said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
What does Messiah mean? In a word, it means Savior or deliverer. Jesus was the Christ, the Anointed One of God, who came to save the Jewish people from their sins once for all time. When rejected by them, the door was opened for Gentiles to become rescued from their sins. Knowing the nature of man, God foreknew that Christ would be rejected by His own people. The plan had been set in motion. The gift was presented, rejected and then presented again on a much wider scope.
If you’ve received the gift, have you then tapped into the wide range of spiritual resources that are at your disposal? God wants to use you for His kingdom. Find out your spiritual gift(s) and use them for His glory. As believers in Christ, we have a personal relationship with Almighty God, creator of the universe in which we live. Have you fully comprehended the magnitude of that statement? Have any of us? Live for God, shun evil and proclaim His word whenever and wherever possible. Until next time, walk with the Lord and be a blessing!
Resources: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, The Reformation Study Bible and the Asbury Bible Commentary.
NOTE: Caesarea Philippi was a small town at the foot of Mount Hermon, about twenty-five miles north of Galilee.
NOTE: C.S. Lewis presents his famous Trilemma, for he offers 3 options regarding Christ:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.””