One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only His disciples were with Him, and He asked them, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say You are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead.” Then He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!”
Jesus warned His disciples not to tell anyone who He was.Luke 9:18-21
Notice how Luke starts this passage off. Luke has taken the Confession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi and placed it here. It is out of sequence. So Luke starts this segment. “One day . . . ” Luke doesn’t mark this segment as being out of sequence or the fact it is a flash forward. I am sure he uses it for the fact that the response gained mirrors what was said in response to Herod’s question. When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead.
“I beheaded John,” Herod said, “so who is this man about whom I hear such stories?” And he kept trying to see Him. (Luke 9:7-9)
Notice in both accounts the pattern was:
- They say John the Baptist
- They also say Elijah
- They say too one of the other prophets risen from the dead.
This time Jesus says “Ah, but YOU, who do YOU say I am? The You here is emphatic. What do you guys think of who I am after spending some much time with me and receiving my teaching? And what do you think after I have put you through this latest BREAD training? After you have experienced all of these things, especially the miracles and the link to the Bread, Who do you say I am? Jesus did not ask this question because He didn’t know what the crowds were saying about Him. He wanted the disciples to state it clearly that they had got it. Luke highlights this fact in the way he has ordered the material.
To which Peter makes his grand statement. Jesus asked them all but Peter was the one who responded. Does that mean only Peter got it and the other eleven didn’t. No, it is most likely that Peter was acting as the spokesman for all of them. They may well have had a discussion about this and they all agree, that Jesus was the Messiah. Note that all of them includes Judas.
- From Matthew we read, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
- From Mark we read, “You are the Christ.”
- While Luke records, “You are the Christ of God.”
All three are confessions that Jesus is indeed the long awaited Messiah. The One come to fulfill all that God intended. What did Peter actually say? It is not likely he said all three of these statements. Mostly likely he said the shorter Markan version, but both Matthew and Luke have interpreted it in the terms they have written. Luke wants us to see clearly that Jesus is God’s appointed Messiah. Oh they think they understand it all but they only as yet interpret the Messiah in popularist terms. They have more to learn.
Note this disclosure of His Messiahship comes on the back of prayer. It is going to be important to Jesus mission and to the future mission of the disciples that they understand this correctly. He wants them to gain the right understanding and so makes the point to train them more thoroughly in what being Messiah means. And to cap it all off at this stage He tells them to keep it to themselves. Oh there will come a time when it is appropriate to talk it abroad but not yet. At this stage even if the disciples had a good grasp of it the Jewish masses would have interpreted it politically. Hence they are told to keep it to themselves for now.
Ask God to reveal to you His purpose for your life. Until you find it you haven’t lived, and until you fulfil it you’re not ready to die.
You may not always know the details of your journey or clearly see where the trail is leading, but God will always give you enough light to take the next step.Ian Vail
The Christ of the galaxies is the Christ of your Mondays. You have a friend in high places.Max Lucado
You are heir to the entire universe – what a difference that should make! Let it sink in.Ian Vail
He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.Anon