Markby Robert M. Solomon
With His unparalleled, authoritative teaching and His amazing miracles, Jesus was the talk of the town. His fame spread throughout the land, and people had all kinds of theories about Him.
Continuing His itinerant ministry, Jesus brought His disciples to the far north of the country, to Caesarea Philippi, a city with many pagan worship sites. Jesus then asked His disciples, ″Who do people say I am?″ (v. 27). They told Him some of the popular speculation about His identity. Some had said He was John the Baptist-or that at least the spirit of John was in Him. Others said He was Elijah who had returned to earth; Elijah had been taken up to heaven and did not appear to have died (2 Kings 2:11-12). Yet others suggested that He might be one of the prophets.
Jesus then turned the question around. ″But what about you? Who do you say I am?″ (v. 29). It was obvious that none of the theories they had heard was acceptable. Jesus wanted to know who they thought He was. It's like something a professor would ask if his student's term paper is merely a collation of what others have written, ″What do you yourself think?″ The disciples must have paused for thought, but Peter, in his usual impulsive way, was first off with a brilliant answer. ″You are the Messiah″ (v. 29). Messiah is Hebrew for ″The Anointed One″, the Greek ″Christ″. That Jesus was pleased with Peter's answer is shown in Matthew when Jesus replied, ″Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven″ (Matthew 16:17). What Peter had said did not come from popular surveys, but from heaven. It was not social opinion but divine revelation. Peter's confession of Jesus' identity is the unshakeable rock of the church, and no satanic attack can overcome a church built on this rock (Matthew 16:18-19).
Again, Jesus warned His disciples to keep this revelation a secret-not forever, but ″until the Son of Man had risen from the dead″ (Mark 9:9). The secrecy was only temporary, until all the things said about Jesus would be fulfilled. Then the whole world would be told (16:15).
If Jesus were to ask you the question He asked the disciples, what would be your answer? Turn your answer to prayer, thanking Him for who He is and what He had done for you.
Reflect on how your profession of faith is actually shown in your daily practice-in your thoughts, attitudes, speech, actions, relationships, priorities, and habits.