May 19

Text: Matthew 16:15-19

He *said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"  And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."  And Jesus answered and 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.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (NASB)

Jesus asked two questions on this occasion.  (1) Who do people say I am?  (2) Who do you say I am?  We might say, “Do you see something other people do not see?”  Jesus said, “Others see me only as a continuation of God’s promise.  Do you see more than they see?”

Peter responded—probably immediately, “You are the Christ (the fulfillment of the promise); God’s son.”  Peter saw Jesus for who he is—he is God’s anointed one who has a unique relationship with God.  He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and Israel.  He is much more than a prophet; he is the son.  Peter saw Jesus as fulfillment not as continuation.  Peter saw more than he understood.

Jesus made a statement and some promises to Peter.  The statement: Peter’s understanding was the result of divine revelation.  The promises: (1) Jesus’ “called out people” would be built on Jesus’ identity.  (2) Death would not prevent Jesus from building those “called out people.”  (3) Peter would open God’s kingdom to all people [Acts 2—Peter invited those in Judaism into the kingdom; Acts 10—Peter invited those outside Judaism into the kingdom].  (4) As God intended, Peter would bind and loose (Peter would do what God wanted; also note 18:1, 18).

God’s intent became reality when a person recognized God’s reality.

Suggestion for reflection: When you look at Jesus, what do you see? (Read 2 Corinthians 3:1-6.)

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