Matthew 16:13-20

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

JESUS’ QUESTION AND PETER’S CONFESSION

INTRODUCTION:

 

The Destiny of the King includes the narrative about Jesus (13:54 - 17:27), the meaning and greatness of forgiveness (18:1-35), and the concluding statement, (1) And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan. (2) And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there (19:1-2).

 

The narrative about Jesus in chapter 16 includes His rebuke of the Pharisees and Sadducees seeking a sign from heaven (16:1-4) and His explanation of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (16:5-12), both of which we have already seen. In this message we want to study Jesus’ question and Peter’s confession (16:13-20). In our next message we will look at Jesus’ prediction of His death and resurrection (16:21-23) and His statement regarding the cost of discipleship (16:24-28).

We see that –

    I.     JESUS ASKS, WHOM DO PEOPLE SAY THAT I AM? – 16:13

 

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

 

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi suggests after He came into the region of Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi was an ancient city located 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon. It was in an area known today as the Golan Heights.

 

Jesus was in the region of Caesarea Philippi when He asked the question which follows in this verse.

 

He asked his disciples is Jesus was asking His disciples.

 

He may have asked them individually or as a group, but the tense of asked implies ongoing or repeated action in past time.

 

Saying introduces the question Jesus was asking: Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

 

Whom do men say? is whom are men saying?

 

Men is the generic term for human beings and may include females as well as males.

 

That I the Son of man am means that I am.

We also see –

  II.     THE DISCIPLES’ ANSWER – 16:14

 

Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

 

And they said introduces the various responses the disciples gave to Jesus’ question in verse 13.

 

Some implies some men or some people.

 

Some say that thou art John the Baptist means that some are saying that Jesus is John the Baptist.

 

The second some is others.

 

Elias is Elijah.

 

Others means still others and are differentiated from the second group.

 

They are saying that Jesus is Jeremias (i.e. Jeremiah), or one of the prophets.

 

Although Matthew wrote one of the prophets, he does not specify which other prophets may have been named by Jesus’ disciples.

Next we see that –

 III.     JESUS ASKS, WHOM DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? – 16:15

 

Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

 

He saith unto them is simply, He (i.e. Jesus) says to them (i.e. to His disciples) or, He asks them.

 

What He asks them is, But whom say ye that I am?

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

 

Whom say ye that I am? is, Whom are you (disciples) saying that I am.

 

Ye is you (plural) and refers to the disciples. It is also emphatic.

 

It is literally, But you, whom are you saying that I am? Since ye is plural, it seems that Jesus asked His disciples this question as a group.

In addition, we see that –

 IV.     PETER ANSWERS, YOU ARE THE MESSIAH – 16:16

 

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

If the others answered or what they may have answered is not revealed.

 

And Simon Peter answered and said suggests, Then Simon Peter answered and declared (or asserted).

 

What Peter answered is, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

Thou is You (singular) and refers to Christ, and it is emphatic.

 

Art is are and indicates that this statement is a timeless truth, something which is always true under all circumstances.

 

The Christ is the Messiah or the Anointed One.

 

The Son of the living God indicates that Peter believed that Jesus was God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity.

 

The living God indicates that God is alive and not some idol which has no life and can give no life.

 

Peter’s answer is reminiscent of John 20:30-31 ,

 

John 20:30-3130 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

We furthermore see that –

   V.     JESUS TELLS PETER THAT PETER IS BLESSED – 16:17

 

 

Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

 

And Jesus answered and said unto him means then Jesus answered and said to Peter.

 

Blessed art thou is you (Peter) are blessed or you are privileged and implies you are a privileged recipient of divine favor.

 

Jesus addresses Peter as Simon Barjona.

 

His name was Simon.

 

In Hebrew bar means son of. Barjona thus identifies Peter as Simon, (the) son of Jonah.

 

For is the word ordinarily translated because and should be understood in this sense in this verse.

 

Flesh and blood refers to some person, some human being.

 

Hath not revealed is did not reveal, did not disclose, or did not make fully known; and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

As indicated by the italics, it has been supplied by the translators in reference to Peter’s statement Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

Unto thee is to you (Peter).

 

It means that no human being had disclosed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to flesh and blood hath not revealed (it) unto thee.

 

My Father which is in heaven refers to God the Father.

 

It is He and He alone Who has revealed to Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Moreover, we see that –

 VI.     JESUS WILL BUILD HIS CHURCH ON PETER’S CONFESSION – 16:18

 

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

And transitions to Jesus’ next statement in the sense of now.

 

I is Jesus and is emphatic.

 

Say is am saying (i.e. am asserting or am declaring).

 

Unto thee is to you and refers to Peter.

 

Thou art Peter is you are Peter.

 

Thou is emphatic.

 

And upon this rock suggests and on this bedrock (or massive rock) and refers to the confession Peter has just made that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

The word translated rock is petra and is a wordplay on Petros, the name translated Peter.

 

I will build my church means that Christ will build His church.

 

Christ is the Builder of it, and it belongs to Him.

 

The future tense of will build implies that Christ’s building of His church was yet future at the time He made this statement. This indicates that His church did not exist in the Old Testament.

 

Church refers to a spiritual congregation or assembly rather than to a physical building.

 

And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

The gates of hell are Hades’ gates.

 

Gates are doors which are intended to stop people from passing through, to hold people or animals out, or to hold people or animals in.

 

Hell is Hades. It does not refer to Gehenna (i.e. to eternal hell in the lake of fire) but to the grave or to physical death.

 

Shall not prevail against it suggests will not have the ability to defeat Christ’s church which He will build, will not win the victory over it, or will not overcome it.

 

Christ is about to die, but death will not overcome Him, keep Him from rising from the dead, or keep Him from building His church.

 

Likewise, death will not prevail over believers, all of whom will one day be raised from the dead and assembled with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven.

Additionally, we see that –

VII.     JESUS WILL GIVE PETER THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN – 16:19

 

Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

According to verse 19, Peter will be given the keys of the kingdom of heaven and authority to bind or loose on earth whatever shall have been previously bound or loosed in heaven.

 

The same promise is made to the twelve disciples in Matthew 18:18 ,

 

Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

This promise is made again to the disciples in John 20:21-23 ,

 

John 20:21-23 – (21) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

 

And I will give unto thee is and I (Jesus) will give to you (Peter).

 

What Jesus will give to Peter is the keys of the kingdom of heaven, which implies that Peter will be given authority to open or to close the door on who enters and who does not enter the sphere over which heaven (i.e. God) rules.

 

However, Peter will only be carrying out God’s directives as the rest of this verse indicates.

 

And whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven is whatever you (Peter) will bind on the earth shall have been bound in heaven.

 

The binding in heaven will always precede whatever Peter does on earth.

 

This means that Peter will only be carrying out God’s directives and places this limitation on Peter’s authority.

 

And whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven is and whatever you (Peter) will loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

 

Again, the loosing in heaven will always precede whatever Peter does on earth.

 

This statement likewise means that Peter will only be carrying out God’s directives and places this limitation on Peter’s authority.

 

This binding and loosing by Peter is seen on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when he proclaimed the gospel and 3,000 persons trusted Christ as their personal Savior.

 

It is also seen in Acts 10 with the salvation of those in the household of Cornelius, a Gentile.

 

Today on the authority of the Word of God, a believer may tell someone else that he is saved and on his way to heaven if he has truly placed his trust in Christ’s death on the cross for his sins and if he believes that God has raised Christ from the dead.

 

In addition, on the authority of the Word of God, a believer may tell someone who rejects Christ as his personal Savior and/or does not believe that God has raised Christ from the dead that he is unsaved and is in danger of spending eternity in the lake of fire.

Finally, we see that –

VIII.   JESUS INSTRUCTED HIS DISCIPLES TO TELL NO ONE THAT HE WAS THE MESSIAH – 16:20

 

Matthew 16:20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

Then suggests thereupon.

 

Charged he his disciples is, He (i.e. Jesus) ordered (or gave orders to) His disciples.

 

What Jesus ordered them is that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

 

That they should tell no man is that they say (i.e. assert, declare, or proclaim) to no one (or to nobody – whether man or woman).

 

What they should not tell anyone is that he was Jesus the Christ, i.e. that He is Jesus the Messiah.

 

This order was understood to be in effect from then until further notice.

 

This further notice would occur in Acts 1:8 after His resurrection,

 

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

 

The Jews as a nation had rejected Him as their Messiah, and further proclamation of Him as their Messiah would not result in their changing their minds.

CONCLUSION:

 

Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?

 

On the authority of the Word of God, I am telling you that you can have all of your sins forgiven, regardless of what they are, if you will place your trust in the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross, shedding His blood in order to pay for all of your sins and that on the third day God raised Him from the dead in order to demonstrate that He had accepted Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf. If you truly believe what I have just said, and if you haven’t already done so, why don’t you call upon God and ask Him to forgive you for your sins and to save you from sin and its consequences? On the authority of the Word of God I am telling you that if you will do what I have just said, God will save you. If you would like to discuss this more fully with me, I am readily available.

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

Furthermore, on the authority of the Word of God, I am telling you that if you choose to reject God’s offer of salvation and/or do not believe that God has raised Christ from the dead, you will spend eternity in hell. This is not a good choice. Please don’t reject God’s offer of eternal salvation accompanied by the forgiveness of all sin.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Scriptures