- Sermon Notes
Who Do You Say He Is?
Illus. Who could it be?
As we continue through the book of Matthew, we come to a section where Jesus asks His disciples what they understood His identity to be. His person, principles,
power, people, parables, persecution, had all been seen; but there remained a question that all in that day and throughout history would need to ask…Who
do they say He is? Based upon what people had seen, there were many things said, but Jesus was most interested in what His disciples had to say in
response to that question. And in your life and mine, it is the question upon which life hinges, who do you say He is?
Read: Matthew 16:13-20
For the past couple of chapters, we have seen Jesus going back and forth between Jewish and Gentile regions. Caesarea Philippi was a place predominantly populated by Gentiles. It would have been a retreat from the Jewish religious leaders who were looking for and pointing out and potential point of contention they could find.Many miles from the place His ministry primarily took place, this area was associated with idols and Greek gods, scattered with temples of Baal worship and the Greek god Pan. The backdrop to this time with the disciples then, is the world’s religions as Jesus presses in toward the pointed question of who they say He is.
It was the question that all who came in contact with Jesus would have to answer. Who did they say He is? So too, it is this very question that your story and mine centers on, the question that centers on the most critical consequence, and the question I ask you this morning, “Who do you say He is?”
I. Settle on the Savior
Matthew 16:13-15, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
- After first asking, “who do people say that the Son of Man is?” the disciples respond with some of the most prominent opinions of who He was.
Illus. Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, still other, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
- While the answer of John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah for most would have been a complement to the ministry of another, it was a sure underestimation of Jesus.
- The people could not deny Jesus’ supernatural power, but would not accept Him as Messiah and Savior.
- The people were expecting the Messiah…
Matthew 11:3-5, Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for another? Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”
- Jesus was, in fact the Messiah they had been expecting, but their suggestion as to who He was, was an underestimation of who He was and is.
Illus. Way off?
- And in your life today, there are many opinions, thoughts and proposals about who Jesus is. Many popular perceptions include: He was a great teacher, good example, prophet, an ethical man, historical figure, a nice and kind person.
- Surely, those are positive attributes, but they fall far short of honoring Him for who He is.
John 14:6, Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
Matthew 16:15-16, He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
- Despite what others may have said, Peter declared what he had come to understand, “You are Christ, Son of the Living God.”
- Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messiah, God’s predicted and long-awaited deliverer, both terms mean “Chosen One,” or “Anointed One.”
- God’s chosen one, the living God. The one the prophets prophesied about, the very One they had been been waiting and longing for.
- Peter declared Jesus as the promised King and Deliverer, the one and only Christ.
Acts 4:12, there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
Philippians 2:9-11, The name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- Scripture has revealed just who He is, yet, there may be some who say otherwise.
- It is important to know that those answers do not change who He is, but what happens when you receive and accept Him personally is that who He is to you, and your answer will change who you are.
- What you say determines your identity
Matthew 16:17-18, And Jesus 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. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.
- After Peter answers that Jesus is “the Christ, Son of the Living God.”
- Jesus begins telling Peter who He is. And when we answer as Peter did, the Lord does the same in our lives.
- Jesus starts by saying, “blessed are you Simon Barjona.” He continued, I say that you are Peter. Upon this rock I will build my church.
- Jesus first used the name Simon, which was his birth name.
- But in hearing his response to what the Father had revealed, Jesus in verse 18, calls him Peter.
- Peter was the name given to him by Jesus when they first met and here, Jesus re-affirms it (John 1:42).
- Upon hearing Peter’s profession of faith and trust in Jesus, Jesus follows up with, "Upon this rock I will build My church.”
- Some have taken this to mean that Jesus is saying that He would build His church upon Peter, or this is the installment of Peter as the first pope, but, seeing these words in the original language is quite helpful here.
- Jesus said to Peter, "You are Petros (small stone), but upon this petra (large rock or stonewall) I will build my church.”
- Peter had declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus would build His church on that great truth that Peter proclaimed and He continues to build His church on the declaration that Jesus is Savior.
- Most important to recognize here is that Jesus said, “I will build my church.” (Vs. 18)
1 Peter 2:5-6, You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
- Jesus is the cornerstone, and it was the rock of Peter’s confession of who Jesus was and is, that is the rock upon which the church would be built.
- Therefore, it’s not built on Peter, but what Peter had just said.
1 Corinthians 3:11, For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
- Peter declared who Jesus was, and Jesus declared who Peter was. He does the same in your life and mine.
- Therefore, our identity in Christ, comes to us through the relationship we have with Christ.
- When you recognize Jesus as Savior and Lord, when you answer by affirming that He is Savior and Lord in your life and enter into a relationship with Jesus, He tells you who you are.
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Romans 8:37, More than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Ephesians 1:3-5, “Blessed…with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” chosen “in Him before the foundation of the world…[to] be holy and blameless before Him,” … “Adopted as sons through Jesus Christ Himself.”
Illus. You got this!
- In your relationship with Jesus, who you say He is and who you are in Him is the determining and defining factor in both your life today and throughout eternity.
- Break through in believing
Matthew 16:18, And the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (NKJV)
- Other translations “overpower it,” the term here meaning superior in strength.
- Jesus uses the term gates. The picture is not of the church in fear finding a fort, or refuge to remain in hiding until we go to be with Jesus.
- And Hades, which corresponds to the Hebrew word Sheol, refers to the place of the dead.
- Upon the profession on faith in Jesus, the church will be built, and death has no power to hold in or hold back God’s redeemed people.
- The gates of death, death’s grip, has no power to hold down or hold back God’s redeemed people. Those gates are not strong enough to hold back God’s people, who receive the victory though Jesus who conquered sin and death on their behalf.
Acts 2:25, God raised Him up…Putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.
Romans 8:1-2, Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
- When you give your life to Jesus, the gates of death have no controlling power, they will not be able to prevail, or hold you back from life eternal.
- As He continued, Jesus said, they were given the keys to the kingdom, which represent authority.
- Keys are used to lock or unlock doors. The disciples were given the keys to open the doors and invite the world to enter into the promise of life in Jesus.
- Peter was told about the foundation of the building that Christ would build, that He would be given keys to that building. The “keys” suggest that he was a “steward,” who would administer the building.
- God uses stewards to help others find the way inside, stewarding. To all who believe in Jesus, and obey His words, the kingdom doors are swung wide open.
Illus. Keys to welcome.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2, Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
- Jesus is the door (John 10:9), one must enter through Him in order to be saved.
Romans 10:9, If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
- Who do you say He is?
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus 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. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.