Matthew 16:13-16, “”13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
One thing was true – whever Jesus went people were always talking about Him. He always found a a way to draw large crowds to hear Him speak – even to his disciples. People recognized that the miracles He could do meant that He was here with God’s blessing.
When people said that He was John the Baptist – they expected him to pave the way for the next guy.
When people said that He was Elijah – they expected an even greater show of God’s power against His enemies.
When people said that He was Jeremiah – the expected Him to speak to the nations of and surrounding Israel.
When people said that He was one of the prophets – they expected him to bring a message from God.
When Simon Peter said that He was the Messiah, the Son of the living God – he expected Him to be the anointed one, the future king who would ultimately bring peace to the world and restore the Jewish people.
Perhaps this is why he fought so hard to keep Jesus from being arrested at the Garden of Gethsemane – going so far as to chop off a servant’s ear during an altercation. Perhaps this is why he followed Jesus, even to the proceedings – where he would deny that he even knew Jesus three times. Perhaps this is why he ran to the tomb of Jesus a few days after his death on the cross. Perhaps this is why Simon Peter got the chance to speak to the post-Resurrection Jesus about his love and the future of his ministry in Jesus’ name. And what a ministry it was! He was called to speak with Cornelius – a centurion who believed in God, He helped the others to accept the Gentiles into the Christian faith, and He later wrote the letters we now know as the books of 1st and 2nd Peter.
So who is Jesus? My teacher who prepared me to learn about the Holy Spirit. My priest who showed me God’s power. My representative whose foreign policy is without equal. My instructor who always has a word from God that I need to hear. My King whose kingdom is at hand. My friend who will never betray me. My substitute who took the punishment I rightfully deserved. My everything – and more.