And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesare'a Philip'pi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Eli'jah; and others one of the prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ." And he charged them to tell no one about him. 31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men."
Who is Jesus for you, for me? At a crucial moment, Jesus tests his disciples with an important question: Who do men say that I am and who do you say that I am?
He was quite recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. Peter, always quick to respond, professes that Jesus is truly the Christ. No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter; but only God.
Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was. He was the first apostle to recognize Jesus as the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ.
Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah, which means Anointed One. Peter's faith, however was sorely tested when Jesus explained that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and die in order that God's work of redemption may be accomplished. How startled the disciples were when they heard these words! How different are God's thoughts and ways from our thoughts and ways!
Through humiliation, suffering, and death on the cross Jesus broke the powers of sin and death and won for us our salvation. The Lord Jesus tests you and me personally with the same question: Who do you say that I am?
Lord Jesus, I profess and believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. You are my Lord and my Savior. Make my faith strong and help me to live in the victory of the cross by rejecting sin and by accepting your will.
Lord put my suffering and humiliation to good use. I offer it to you as a sacrifice for your most heavenly altar. I will not turn my back on you even if the path before me looks easier. While I have kicked and screamed when walking over the craggy, infested path, I know it leads to you and I embrace it only to see your most holy face.