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Ministry of Jesus

Peter's Confession of Christ

Scripture

Matthew 16:13-20
Mark 8:27-29
Luke 9:18-20

Key Differences

Luke records the cost of being a disciple, that one must deny themselves and take up their cross in order to follow Jesus.  The gospel also records encouragement that some who heard Jesus speak those words would not die before they saw the kingdom of God.  This refers to Jesus' spiritual kingdom - the church - as His earthly kingdom is yet future.

Additional Commentary

This passage contains the high point of Peter's life before the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Peter acknowledges that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah and is praised for it because God had revealed this knowledge to Him.

As Peter is given the "keys to the kingdom" it is prophetic that Peter would be the one to open the kingdom of God to all people.  Peter first opened it to the Jews as he spoke on Pentecost and 3,000 were saved.  In Acts 8, when the church spread to Judea and Samaria, the Holy Spirit did not come upon the people until Peter arrived and placed his hands on them.  Finally, the gentile world is opened in Acts 10 when Peter goes to the house of Cornelius and he and his family are saved and given the Holy Spirit.

It sounds odd that Jesus would tell the disciples to keep His identity a secret given the fact that it would become their job to tell everyone about Jesus after His death and resurrection.  Some conclusions can be reached based on what we are told in this passage however.  First of all, Jesus wants people to reach their own conclusions about Him and not just believe because someone told them.  That is why He asks what the disciples believe and not just what other people believe about the Son of Man.

Secondly, people should believe because the Holy Spirit has opened their eyes.  And finally, not everyone is willing to pay the price of being a disciple.  Only people who have decided to follow Jesus after careful examination of their own and wisdom from the Holy Spirit should seek to follow Jesus.  Even then, they must realize the cost involved.  Following Jesus is not something to take lightly and Jesus did not want to gain a crowd of half hearted followers so He tells the disciples to remain silent about who He is. 

Spreading Light Commentaries

Kings of Israel and Judah

Bible Books of Wisdom

Minor Prophets

Four Gospels Together

Book of Acts

Paul's Epistles

General Epistles

Revelation


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