63. At Caesarea Philippi; Peter’s Confession
13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi,a he asked his apostles, “Who do men say that the Son of Man is?”
14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”b
17And Jesus said, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, on this rock I will build my church,c and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give you the keys of the kingdom.”
24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”d
(Mt. 16:13–19, 24)
a “Caesarea Philippi”—The capital of the tetrarch Philip's domain. (See map on page 24.)
b “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”—Here, for the first time, the apostles (with Peter as their spokesman) affirm their belief that Jesus is not only the Messiah (the Christ, the anointed one)—but also the divine Son of God.
c “on this rock I will build my church”—What is this rock? It is the apostle's confession, through the insight of the Father's spirit (“Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven”), that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus declares that on this rock of recognized spiritual reality (You are “the Son of the living God”), he will build his church—the spiritual brotherhood of the kingdom of heaven.
d “take up his cross and follow me.”—Assume the obligations of sonship with God.
Mt. 16:13 his apostles, “Who (Ch. 22, fn. a) / his disciples, “Who (RSV)
Mt. 16:16 are the Messiah, the (Ch. 13, fn. c) / are Christ, the (RSV)
Mt. 16:17 Jesus said, “Flesh / Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh (RSV)
Mt. 16:18 you, on / you, you are Peter, and on (RSV)
Mt. 16:19 kingdom.” / kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (RSV) (157:3/1745–6)