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Peter and John — Matthew 16:13-20

01 Sep

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

 

Dear God, there are a few things in this story. I think the first is, why did Jesus ask this question in the first place? Was it a test? Did he not know what they thought? Did he know they weren’t sure and that they needed to know the truth? Maybe, things were probably about to get harder for everyone, and he wanted them to have some confidence in him. Or maybe he needed to get those who were going to bail on him to do it now. And maybe he knew that Judas was already having misgivings and he wanted to lay it out there for him.

Another thing is that the disciples have some weird answers. Are they suggesting reincarnation? I know there was a prophecy of the second coming of Elijah, but John the Baptist? Jeremiah? Those are some odd answers.

Then Jesus makes it more personal and puts them on the spot. He ratchets it up a little. Who do YOU say that I am? He makes them answers their own. And Peter says what he hopes he left his fishing nets for. He doesn’t want him to be Elijah, John the Baptist, or Jeremiah. He didn’t leave his job for that. He not only wants him to be the Messiah–he needs him to be the Messiah.

Of course, in the spirit of this series I’m doing, it’s important to point out that Peter is the one who said it. John didn’t. James didn’t. It was Peter. If John had said it first, would he have been the person upon whom you built your church?  Would his name have changed from John to Peter, and Peter remained Simon? I’ll need to be sure to pay attention to how this name change will change Peter’s role from here on.

Father, teach me through all of this. Help me to see if there are any attributes to Peter that I need to consider modeling myself after. The same goes for John. Help me to see how I might need to be more like him as well. But of course, it all pales in comparison with how much I need to be more like you. Help me to be like you today. Help me to be more like you.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2018 in Matthew, Peter and John

 

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