top of page

52. Seeing Who Jesus is

The life and ministry of Peter. (Matthew 16:13-20)

Stepping out of a boat into the open sea was not the last lesson Peter had to learn in following Jesus. Having been privileged to see Jesus walk on the water he was then privileged to be criticised (15:1-2). All true

Christians will be criticised. If God criticises you, listen. If man criticises you, let it go by. Jesus had warned the disciples of the danger of hypocrisy (15:8-9), the danger of sign-seeking (16:1, 4), and the danger

of legalistic teaching (16:5, 12). Peter was probably present when Jesus warned of all these things. He was young in years and young in faith. He was bold and belligerent, and had yet to learn the difference between faith and foolishness. Gradually it was dawning on Peter who Jesus really was. There was a possibility that Jesus was the Christ. Imagine Peter’s surprise, however, when one day Jesus turned to His disciples and asked:

‘Who do you say I am?’ Suddenly he could not keep his thoughts secret

any more. The debate must be concluded, a decision must be reached and

a declaration must be made.

Perhaps you have been backsliding. Perhaps you have put up barriers.

Perhaps you are trapped in spiritual babyhood. Whatever your bondage,

if you see again who Jesus is and submit to Him in your life, you cannot

fail to make spiritual progress.

The people’s response to Jesus Christ

Three answers were given to the first question Jesus asked. They show

the Jewish response to Jesus at the time He lived on earth and they show

the wrong ideas people have today.

John the Baptist was a man sent from God who preached repentance. He

was a great man whose life was ended by a drunkard’s folly. Some of the

people who had known John were saying that Jesus was John raised to

life. Some people think they know Who Jesus is and they relate Him to

someone else they know who is good and kind. But He is much more than


Others said He was Elijah, one of the greatest Jewish prophets. Elijah

did not die but was taken into heaven in a chariot of fire. He was

expected to return one day. Some people were likening Jesus to this

great man they had heard about. They were wrong.

Still others said He was Jeremiah or another prophet. The Jews had

great respect for all of their ancestral prophets and they wanted to put

Jesus in that same category.

But Jesus is much more than like someone we know; much more than like

someone we read about; much more than just someone we should respect.

The popular responses to Jesus Christ today

Some reckon Jesus to be fictitious. But history has changed because of

Him and people are being changed because of Him. It probably takes more

faith to believe He is fictitious than it does to believe He is factual!

Denial of the truth never alters the truth. People may say they are not

fat, but if in fact they are fat, what difference does it make what they


Others take Jesus to be a fake. There are people in every age who claim

to be Jesus Christ. The real Jesus was put to death on Calvary’s cross

because He claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 26:63). For anyone

else that charge would have been true, but not for Him.

Others say Jesus is a fad. With film stars and presidents and pop-stars

claiming to be born again, people claim that Jesus is the latest commercial

enterprise. Like a fashionable dress He can be worn today but discarded


Another group take Jesus to be a fanatic. He went too far. He was too

radical. He was possessed by an irrational enthusiasm for God.

Rather than face up to facts many people foolishly dismiss Jesus. They

are misinformed, mistaken and, in some cases, misled.

Your personal response to Jesus Christ

In Matthew 16:15 Jesus makes the question personal: ‘Who do you say I

am?’ Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ His

doubts were past. He made his declaration: the sovereign, living,

almighty, all powerful, all supreme God; the Son, beloved and well-pleasing

to the Father; the Saviour, the Christ, the Messiah, the One wWho had

come to save His people from their sin.

As you make up your mind Who Jesus really is, you must repent of any

wrong ideas you have had. You must realise the greatness of God’s Son.

He will not reject you if you reject this world. You must respond in

simple faith to Him and release your life to Him.

Discussion guide for ‘Seeing who Jesus is’

Bible reading Matthew 16:13-20

1. In Matthew 14:33 the disciples “worship Him (Jesus) saying, “Truly

You are the Son of God””. Why, then, does Jesus ask in 16:15, “Who

do you say I am?”

2. How does your recognition of Jesus grow as the weeks pass?


3. When and how does God “reveal” truth about Jesus to us?

4. Is it all at once? Why? Why not? Be as practical as you can be.

5. Make some time to listen to God by yourself. What do you believe

God is calling you to be and to do?

bottom of page