Matthew 16:13-19 Who Is Jesus & Why Does It Matter?

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. Who Is Jesus?

A. Jesus Called Himself The Son Of Man V. 13

1. Jesus is not having an identity crisis; He knows who He is
2. He wants these men to search their hearts & come to their own conclusion
3. They had been with Him a long time, they had heard Him teach, seen the miracles, and heard the public opinions about Him
4. It is not so different with us here today. Most of us have been around Jesus (Christians, church, the Bible), for quite some time. You may be comfortable being around Him, but don’t want to be pressured to make a decision about Him
5. Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. What does that mean?

a. Jesus called Himself this 30x’s in Matthew. 43 x’s in the New Testament
b. Son of Man– as one representing all humanity; The 2nd Adam
c. More than just Jewish Messiah, King of Israel. He came to all humanity
d. Speaks of Jesus’ humanity; the perfect man, physical body, rational soul
e. Daniel used this phrase of himself; Ezekiel 90 x’s
f. It speaks of the humility & human weakness of this servant of God

i. Matthew 8:20
ii. Points to the fact that Jesus identified w/the struggles of humanity

g. Son of Man– a prophetic Messianic term of Jesus and His humanity

6. All of this was true of Jesus, but He was much more than just the Son of Man

B. Today’s Different Ideas Re. Jesus

1. Both the public then and the public now have different ideas about Jesus
2. The Mormon idea of Jesus

a. A created being, not self-existing
b. The spirit brother of Lucifer (Satan)
c. Our elder brother who progressed to god-hood, not always God
d. Born after God the Father had sexual intercourse with Mary
e. A Savior with only limited power to save
“Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. And men for certain crimes …have placed themselves beyond the redeeming power of the blood of Christ.”
(Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, Page 135-136)

3. Friend of Shirley McClaine, author of “Out On A Limb”, as quoted in her book
“…a lot of people think that those eighteen missing years (age 12-30) were spent traveling in and around India and Tibet and Persia and the Near East. They say he became an adept yogi and mastered complete control over his body and the physical world around him[he] tried to teach people that they could do the same things too if they got more in touch with their spiritual selves and their own potential power.”
4. Islam and Jesus-

a. Jesus was a prophet of God, born of the Virgin Mary, worthy of respect, ascended into heaven, but never died
b. Jesus was never crucified, never raised from the dead, someone else died in His place, or possibly He was on the cross, but He never died
c. This strongly contradicts 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

5. The man or woman on the street re. Jesus

a. Jesus was a good man, a moral man, a miracle worker, wonderful teacher
b. He was all about love, never criticized, and said never to judge
c. Those 1st definitions are true, but fall far short.
d. 2nd group of opinions aren’t true at all, but are popular misconceptions
e. Popular opinions see Jesus just as The Son of Man- His human aspects

6. Why would Jesus ask this question? Who do YOU think I am?
Why is it important? Is any answer acceptable, or is there only one right answer?

a. See 1 John 2:23; 1 John 5:11-13

C. Peter’s Response

1. Jesus pressed the disciples to have a personal answer V. 15

a. For each us personally, it doesn’t matter what others think
b. We must have our own convictions about who Jesus is

2. Peter rightly recognizes and confesses who Jesus is V. 16

a. The Christ- the Anointed and Chosen One of God
b. The Son of the Living God- This title speaks of His divinity

3. Understanding Jesus comes only by Divine revelation V. 17

II. What That Means

A. For The Individual Believer V. 18a

1. Jesus reminds Peter of the name that Jesus had given him.
2. Peter means “rock”, and it was an indication of how Peter would be used in the future work of the church
3. As Peter declared his conviction re. Jesus, Jesus hinted to Peter about his future

B. For What Is Called The Church (The Called Out Ones) V.18b

1. Jesus builds His church. Eklesia- ones called out, set apart, separate
2. The church belongs to Him-I will build My church
3. The church is built upon the truth of who He is- (…upon this rock) of who He is

a. Son of Man-humanity
b. Son of God- divinity
c. The Christ-the chosen sacrifice of God

4. Hell cannot defeat the church V. 18c
5. The “church” has authority to bind and loose V. 19

a. Remember, it is Jesus’ church
b. He gives us keys, we don’t have them by our own power or authority
c. Our “binding & loosing” is done by His authority, not ours
d. Literally, …”whatever you have bound will have already been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose will have already been loosed in heaven.”
e. Imagine- God putting into the hearts of His people convictions, which when followed, will actually be supported and backed up by God Himself
f. Imagine- Jesus building a group that belongs to Him, built upon his humanity, divinity, sacrifice, made of people chosen thought they fail, that group unconquerable by Hell