Matt 16:13-20 Jesus the Christ CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this lesson we learn that Jesus the Christ is the Messiah. Some folks believe that as “the” Christ he was a natural born man upon whom the Spirit came at his baptism, thus making him the Christ. And that at his death, when he commended the Spirit to God [Lk 23:46], he was no longer “the” Christ. However, that is not the case. He is the Christ because he is “the Son of the living God,” just like Peter said [Matt 16:16].
As the Christ:
He was mistaken for one of the prophets – 14
According to Deut 18:15-18, the Jews were to be looking for a prophet like Moses. They compared Jesus to John the Baptist. Herod believed this and even believed in the resurrection from the dead (Matt 14:1-2). They compared him to Elijah. Well, Elijah could do miracles and he had been taken up by a whirlwind. He had never died and it was prophesied that he would return (Mal 4:5). They compared him to Jeremiah. Jeremiah preached the new covenant [Jer 31:31] which Jesus Christ came to fulfill.
He was the Son of the living God – 16
That God would have a Son is certain from the Old Testament (Is 9:6-7; 7:14; Ps 2:6-7; Dan 3:25).
He was revealed by the Father – 17
There would be no other way to know Jesus but through the revelation of God, which is the way we learn any Bible truth (Lk 10:21-22; 1 Cor 2:9-10).
He would build his church – 18
He, not Peter, is the Rock upon which the church is built (1 Cor 3:11; 1 Cor 10:4; 1 Pet 2:6). As such, the gates of hell did not prevail against him (the Rock) when he spent three nights and three days in hell (Acts 2:27, 31; Eph 4:9-10).
He gave authority to his disciples – 19
Jesus did not grant authority to popes to come up with their own private interpretation of scripture and to produce their own tradition contrary to the words of God and true believers when he gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter to bind and loose things. They could bind things as in Acts 1:15-26 or Acts 15:20. God backed them in their choices. They could loose things like 2 Cor 2:10 and Eph 4:32, primarily dealing with forgiveness.
He would suffer before reigning – 20-21
That’s why he told his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. They would be viewed as authoritative and this would compound the pressure to make him a King (Jn 6:15). Jesus had to suffer first before he could take the throne (Lk 24:26; 1 Pet 1:11). This is a lesson to us who are about to reign with him as kings and priests (Rev 5:10). We are going to have to suffer first (Rom 8:17-18).
He would be tempted to quit – 22-23
Jesus could have called down twelve legions of angels to rescue him from his tormentors (Matt 26:53-54). Had he done that, the devil would have won. Instead, during the time that he was so weak from beating and so reviled by the mob (Matt 27:39-44), he actually called for the devil to pour it on because he was not going to quit (Is 50:5-9; Col 2:15). We are tempted to quit, too. But we must find the resolve that Jesus had to stay in the fight till the finish (2 Tim 4:7).