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Study to Grow

By Doug Bell

Matthew 16:

13 ¶ Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simons Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”


In his own day, the people had many speculations about who Jesus was. The disciples probably had many conversations with family members and neighbors about Jesus. So, when he ask them “But who do the people say the son of man is?” They had answers!

1.) Elijah- Many had already rejected that Jesus was the messiah, but they couldn’t deny his miracles. In 1 Kings 17:14 We see Elijah multiplying the widows food. In this very chapter of Matthew 16:5f. The disciples forgot to bring bread. Jesus has to remind them how he feed the 5,000 and the 4,000 (vs. 9-10). In 1 Kings 17:22 Elijah raises the widows son from the dead. In Luke 7:11-15, we find Jesus stopping a funeral procession to raise a widows son.

2.) John the Baptist- Again, if Jesus wasn’t the Messiah then perhaps he was the “preparer” for the Christ? We have already looked at Matthew 14:

1 ¶ At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus,

2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.

Herod’s conscience so bothered him because he had John put to death, he thought Jesus was John’s reincarnation.

3.) Jeremiah- Jeremiah was one of the greatest prophets, preaching for about 47 years! But, as far as the Biblical record, we don’t know of one convert under his long ministry. Because of his many pleadings with the people over many decades, he became known as the “Weeping” prophet.

And also, we see Jesus on many occasions having compassion on people and weeping with them! At Lazarus’ death in John 11:

33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,

34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept.“ [the shortest verse in the Bible!]

And in Luke 19 as he approached Jerusalem

41 “When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it”...

knowing how Israel would be punished for denying him, and in 70 A.D. Jerusalem would be completely destroyed by the Romans.

4.) some other prophet- At the raising of the Widows’ son in Luke 7 some said of him,

16 ‘Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”


So, today people still have their opinions about who Jesus is. Some say a great moral teacher, others say a charismatic person, still others say, he was a great healer of bodily infirmities.

BUT WHO DO YOU SAY THAT HE IS? This is the only question that really matters! Unless your answer is along the lines of Peter, you are lost and going to a devil’s Hell! Look again:

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simons Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

Do you accept that Jesus IS:

  • The Messiah (Christ)

  • sent by the Father to live a perfect life

  • die on the cross while bearing the sins of those who believe on Him,

  • and that the Father approved of his blood sacrifice by raising Jesus from the grave, and again

  • elevating him to His right hand of power in Heaven!

Friend, Jesus is the ONLY way to God

John 14:6 “Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Or as John the Baptist has told us:

John 1:29 “The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

This is the promise of God! Mark 1:

14 ¶ Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,

15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”


“Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION”

2 Corinthians 6:2

Believe Today, Don’t put it off!

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