The Book of Matthew declares some significant messages about Jesus. The Galilean preacher named Jesus was actually the Son of God, whose birth was announced by an angel. His life and ministry verified His unique relationship with His Heavenly Father. Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected. He was raised from the grave and assures Christians today of victory over death. One day He will return for His followers. For that reason believers remain alert and live in hope.
Matthew 14 marks the beginning of a new chapter in the ministry of Jesus. He brought His ministry to Galilee to a close and began to prepare for the cross. Up to this point, His disciples had seen Him preach, teach, heal, and perform other miracles. However, they didn’t know what lay ahead.
Jesus started to prepare His disciples for the changes the cross would bring. He talked with them about His identity and the implications of declaring Him to be the Messiah. In Matthew 16:13-28 Jesus asked His disciples two questions about His identity. Peter shared the disciples’ answer to the second question. Responding in accordance with what Jesus had revealed to them, they proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus asserted that such a proclamation would be foundational for the church. He went on to teach them that proclaiming Him to be the Christ implied that they would follow Him by making Him their sole priority. Jesus assured them that giving themselves to Him in complete devotion would enrich their lives. He also asserted that after He suffered, He would be glorified and that some of them would behold Him as He came in His kingdom.
“But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:15-16)
Peter served as the spokesperson for all the disciples. They shared the same conviction about Jesus that Peter expressed. Peter’s answer confirmed that they had come to believe for themselves that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises.
“Jesus responded “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you but my Father in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17)
Jesus affirmed that God Himself had opened Peter’s spiritual eyes so that Jesus’ true identity could be revealed to him. Under the authority of Jesus, the disciples’ work in the future would be synchronized with God’s plan in eternity.
Consider the following conclusions that we can draw from this session:
- Jesus is the promised Messiah and the only Son of God, regardless of what others may think.
- Jesus’ redemptive purpose is realized through His church.
- Jesus demands total obedience born from our confession of Him.
Believers have been commissioned to share the gospel of Christ. Our mandate is to make the Messiah known to the whole world and to guide other believers to become growing disciples of Jesus.
What are some specific ways you’ll explore and put into practice this truth this week?
Excerpted from Explore the Bible: Matthew 14–28. © 2017 Lifeway Press®. Used by permission.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission.