This passage of scripture reveals Peter’s confession of Christ and then Jesus speaks truth and power about building of the kingdom of God.
Jesus begins with a question for his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
He has referred to himself as the Son of Man many times and so when he asks the questions the disciples correctly hear Jesus asking, “Who do people say I am?”
They are not sure…they believe you are a resurrected, reincarnated prophet from old…they believe you are the resurrected John the Baptist. The people are confused and not clear on who you are.
Then Jesus asks the million dollar question… “Who do you say I am?”
He calls for a decision among his disciples…his closest followers.
It is Peter who calls out, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
- When Peter says, “You are the Christ” he is giving Jesus a title.
Christ – comes from Greek term “Christos” which is a translation of the Hebrew term for “anointed one”
In the Old Testament it was a term used to talk about Kings, priests, prophets.
- When Peter says, “Son of the living God” he is contrasting God to all these other things people worship in the surrounding area.
Living God…unlike the mythical, superstitious figures etched in stone that people worship…Jesus you are the Son of the Living God.
Where does the boldness of Peter’s confession come from?
- Peter saw Jesus provide food for over 5,000 people with just 4 loaves and 2 fish.
- Peter watched Jesus interact with a woman who came seeking healing for her daughter…a woman who was willing to settle for a scrap from the table.
- Peter was in a boat tossed about by the wind and waves and he watched as Jesus spoke and the winds and waves calmed down.
- Peter accepted Jesus invitation to step out of a boat and he danced upon the water with anointed one…with the Son of the Living God.
- Peter felt the hands of Jesus reach out and rescue him as he began to sink beneath the water after walking on the water with Jesus.
It was Peter’s Journey with Jesus that enabled him to say, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Our journey may not be as dramatic as Peter’s…we may not have had the privilege of walking the streets of Jerusalem or the hillsides of Galilee with Jesus…
But…Jesus walks with us each day. We can celebrate the way God has been present in our lives through times of celebration and in times of loss. We can point to times of God’s provision for us as individuals and as a community.
Like Peter Jesus is inviting us to get out of the boat and dance upon the water and experience “Life to the Full” so that we too can pronounce with joy and boldness…“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”
Jesus hears Peter’s confession and replies…
“Blessed are you Simon, Son of Jonah for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. I tell you that you are Peter and on this Rock I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”
Scholars may debate what Jesus meant by “this Rock” (was it Peter, Peter’s confession or Jesus himself), but there is no debating who will be doing the building…“I will build my church”.
Too often we begin to think we will build…we will work harder, we will spend more time, we will exhaust ourselves and that will build the church…when Jesus is pretty clear… “I will build.”
Our responsibility is to BE in relationship with Jesus…to BE obedient to his Call upon our lives and to listen clearly to the invitation to work where the Spirit is already at work.
The resurrection of Jesus is proof that even though life may get difficult…there is victory in the end.