When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then He strictly ordered His disciples to tell no one that He was the Messiah.
From that time on, Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to You.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an obstacle to Me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
YOU ARE THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. Peter’s answer echoes the affirmation of God the Father when Jesus was baptized by John at the Jordan River (Mt 3:17). It will be the proclamation of Jesus by God the Father during the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor (Mt 17:5).
Peter does not say what Jesus wants to hear. Nor does Peter simply repeat what others said. What he says is his personal conviction, his personal discovery of Jesus.
He speaks not with his head but with his heart, from a revelation of the Father (hence, a gift of God’s goodness). In fact, Peter does not fully understand the full scope of Jesus’ messiahship, that it includes martyrdom. Still, Jesus does not hesitate to declare that Simon is Peter, the rock upon which Jesus will build His church.
And, in spite of Peter’s three-fold denial at Jesus’ trial, Jesus does not revoke His promise or His election. Jesus accepts and believes in Peter.
What is your life’s answer to Jesus’ question?
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2012,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph