In this passage, we read one of the most profound sentences in the Gospels. Peter does a lot here with only a few words; in a single statement, he answers a burning question in the hearts of many people who are being introduced to Jesus. And it’s an interesting question, to be sure. In fact, it’s two questions. Jesus uses the first to make way for the second, and Peter does something amazing.
Let’s frame the setting for a moment: entering a region where the population was primarily Gentile instead of Jewish, Jesus and His disciples likely had a little more space to breathe than where they came from. Now away from the crowd’s curiosity and the malicious interest of the Pharisees and Sadducees, Jesus spoke to the disciples—they had been following Him for a while but were still learning. It’s possible Jesus wanted them to process and understand what they were seeing and doing.
“Who do people say that I am?” and then the more pointed, “Who do you say that I am?”
There are a lot of opinions out there about who Jesus is and what He did. There’s a whole camp of people who are vehemently against the idea of a conscious, sovereign deity like the God of the Bible. Some people aren’t sure what to think of higher powers and have yet to decide what to believe. Some people say He’s a myth, some say He was a good teacher, and still some people have decided to say He was just crazy.
The truth is simple: we know that Jesus was a real person. We have historical records that tell us about Him. We know that those who encountered Him believed Jesus was more than just a religious leader—He was a friend, mentor, miracle worker, healer, teacher, and Lord.
Many of you have the testimony of faith to back this up in your own lives. In his answer, Peter also shares what many of us have decided in our hearts. He confessed his faith and declared the lordship of Jesus Christ. When we put our faith in Jesus, we believe He is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. We are declaring that He is our Savior and Lord. And we pledge our allegiance to Him. There is no one and nothing else that can sustain us. Our purpose is found in Him. What a bold thing to say.
My prayer for us all is that we’re like Peter: bold in our profession of faith and unashamed to declare that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Today, my prayer is that we find a way to make it known by our words and how we live.