Matthew 16:13-15 (NIV) 13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14They 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?”
Caesarea Philippi was a city at the source of the Jordan River twenty miles north of Galilee. It consisted mostly of Gentile people. It was a center for the worship of the Greek god Pan, because of a great water cavern. This was the northern most outreach of Jesus’ ministry. It was here, in view of all the idolatry of the city, that Jesus asked His disciples who people thought Him to be. Their answer of John the Baptist shows us that they did not actually mean reincarnation, but the spirit and anointing of that person. John had recently died while Christ was living. It was hard to accept the loss of the prophet so well received. Calling Him Elijah was quite a compliment because Elijah was considered one of the greatest prophets and was known to be quite confrontational. Jeremiah was the unaccepted prophet. Did they see Jesus’ grief at the rejection of their long awaited Messiah? Some thought that perhaps He was a new prophet.
The question of all time was put to them. Who do you say the Son of Man is? ‘Son of Man’ is Jesus’ most common term for Himself. God called Ezekiel by this title. Perhaps it was to keep him humble through the many revelations and visions he saw. Daniel used the term to refer to the coming Messiah (Daniel 7:13). Which way did the disciples see Him? Who do you say He is? Your eternal destiny is riding on the answer. It is easy to just repeat Peter’s answer, but what is your real answer? Looking at Jesus standing there in view of all the world’s belief systems, what will you say to Him? Has the Father revealed to you who He is, or are you just repeating the answer that is expected? Dear reader, stop for a moment from the business of life, and ask yourself what you really believe. If you say He is the Messiah, your Savior, God incarnate, what kind of a life focus does that call for in response to that fact? Are you living it? If not, what needs to change, and how will you go about making a shift to that focus? If you answer, “I don’t really know”, then ask the Father to reveal His Son to you.
Consider: Who do you say the Son of Man is?
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