Matthew 16:13-20 Who Are You, Jesus?

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.”

17 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. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Who Are You, Jesus?

By this time in the gospel, people had developed an idea of who you were, Jesus.  They thought you were a prophet.  However, although you are prophetic, sovereign and the Great High Priest, you are more than prophet, priest, or king.  The types of prophets, priests and kings that we know lack the truth, the relationship with God the Father, or the authority that you have.  However, you are all three of these offices taken to infinite proportion:  As prophet, you speak truth into our lives and if we change in light of that truth we live more like we were designed to live;  As King of Kings, when we bow our knee to you and subject every area of our lives to your rule, you further your rule through us and bring the world back to the way it was created to be; As the Great High Priest, you stand in the presence of The Father and you make our case for us.

Jesus, we need you.  We need you to bring your authority and rule to bear on a society that wants to leave each individual to compose their own rules for living.  We need you to reveal to us the places where we should speak, the activities we should engage in, and the words which we should say so that the truth will be communicated that frees the oppressed and challenges the oppressor.  We need you to stand as our intercessor with The Father so that we will be seen as righteous.  Through the cross we enter into a new life.  Through your death we live a life of devotion that was once beyond our reach.  Through your life we live a transformed life that brings light and life to the world.  The world loves darkness and it rejects truth.  Help us to build the church so that the gates of Hades does not overcome it.


  1. Where did Jesus go to ask the disciples who he was?
  2. Why would Jesus remove himself from the power centres of Israel in order to dialogue with his disciples in this way?
  3. Do you think the rock was Peter or the words that Peter spoke?
  4. Who do people say Jesus is today?
  5. If Jesus is the Messiah, how does that change the world?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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