Jesus asked them, “But, you [disciples], who do you think me to be?”1
|1||Who do you think me to be: After more than a year or two of association with Jesus he asks for their opinion as to his identity. Peter speaks for the apostles.|
Dear Friends of the Nazarene,
We choose Matthew 16:15 as the theme verse of chapter sixteen – Who Am I? The Jewish religious hierarchy demand a sign to prove who he is, but Jesus accuses them of ignorance of the sign of the times. [1-4] He warns about false teachings. [5-12] He asks his apostles who people think he is and then asks them what they think about his identity. [13-20] Peter says that Jesus is the “Messiah, Son of the Living God.” The Nazarene talks about building his Church upon a solid rock foundation. He promises to give Peter the “keys of the kingdom.”
Peter tries to rebuke Jesus for saying he is destined to die. [21-23] Jesus turns away from Peter and calls him “Satan” because he does not think God’s thoughts. The Nazarene teaches that a disciple must disown himself, heft a personal cross and constantly follow him. [24-28] He warns about the dangers of just thinking of self, and that when he returns in his kingdom glory “everyone will be compensated according to their practices.” He says that most of his disciples will live to see the fulfillment of Daniel 7:13.
Abba our Father bless those who believe Jesus is the Christ, Son of God.
[28 October 2002]
This is the great and smaller catechism, the one great and essential question. Christ is the one object of the Christian’s faith. We say we believe in him; but in whom do we believe? The hour had not come for the settlement of what should constitute the Christian confession.