By Colleen Donahue

Jesus, in going to Caesarea Philippi, 24 miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee, was making another withdrawal to a quieter place where he could teach his disciples in peace. The end was very near and Jesus was confronting a problem. Was there anyone who recognized him for who he really was? If there was, then his work could safely move on. If not, Christianity would die with him.

This study is so much more than Jesus dealing with his twelve disciples. It extends right down to us today and poses this question ---


Jesus - Is He Your Personal Discovery?

Studies continued from Matthew 16: 13-23

Day 1- What question did Jesus direct to his disciples?
Matthew 16:13

Day 2- What is the significance that people thought Jesus was a returned John the Baptist, Elijah, or Jeremiah?
Matthew 16:14 / Matthew 11:13-14 / Matthew 17:10-13

This was actually the highest compliment that people could pay to Jesus. These men were all forerunners of the Messiah that they were waiting for.

Day 3- Who the general public thought Christ was, was not as important to the Lord as to who his disciples thought he was. They were the ones that he had spent all his time with over the past three years. They were the ones chosen to carry on his work. So now he puts the disciples to the test.
Matthew 16:15

Day 4- And then as though a light bulb went on in Peter's head he gave his answer. It's stated slightly different in each gospel.
Matthew 16:16 / Mark 8:29 / Luke 9:20

Day 5- Like Peter, our discovery of Christ must be a personal one. It can't be second hand just by reading or hearing what others say about Him. Christianity does not consist in knowing about Jesus but in knowing Him personally. Watch that you don't fall into this category of people.
John 5: 39-40

Matthew 16: 17-19 - The Great Promise To Peter

These are the verses that the Catholic Church uses to support the pope. But there is another interpretation that should be considered.

Day 6- Peter was the first man to make a leap of faith and say that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. How did he come to this conclusion?
Matthew 16: 15-17

Day 7- Therefore Peter became the first member of the church or its foundation stone. Peter is not the rock on which the church is founded for that is Christ, but he is the first member and beginning of the church on earth and therefore the foundation.
Matthew 16:18

Day 8- As its first member what special privilege did Peter receive?
Matthew 16:19

Peter was to be the steward of the kingdom and would open the doors for many to know God. The duty of binding and loosing meant that he would make decisions for a church which would have far reaching consequences.

Matthew 16:20-23 - The Great Rebuke to Peter -- and to Us

Peter and some of the disciples had made the great discovery that Jesus was the Son of God but now Christ charges them not to tell anyone. Why? They did not understand that to be the Messiah meant a cross and death. They thought in terms of a conquering hero that would free Israel from the Romans. If they preached their own thoughts there would surely be violence and bloodshed.

Day 9- What is Peter's response to Christ when he tells them of his coming death?
Matthew 16:22

Now Peter loved Jesus and what he says here was his own impulsiveness trying to protect Him. So why does Jesus rebuke Peter so sharply?

Day 10- Satan, means adversary and is any force that tries to keep us from the ways of God. Christ had come to earth for one purpose. All of these verses express that one purpose.
Galatians 1:4 / Titus 2:14 / Hebrews 9:28 / 1 Peter 2:24 / 1 Peter 3:18 / 1 John 3:5

Peter, with his protecting love was inadvertently keeping Jesus from the mission His father had given to Him. Satan had tempted Christ in the wilderness that there was another way, that the use of power would be best, and compromise would smooth the way. Now Peter was aligning his thinking with Satan's thinking.

Christ's command to Satan in the wilderness was "Be gone Satan!", but to Peter, his phrase actually translates, "Be gone, behind me!". Jesus wanted Peter to be in his rightful place as a follower and not to try and lead Christ.


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