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Lesson # Matt. 16:13-14
Study Material - Matt. 16:13-14
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
13 When [de] Jesus [Iesous] came [erchomai] into [eis] the coasts [meros] of Caesarea [Kaisereia] Philippi [Philippos] , he asked [erotao] his [autos] disciples [mathetes] , saying [lego] , Whom [tis] do men [anthropos] say [lego] that I [me] the Son [huios] of man [anthropos] am [einai] ?
14 And [de] they said [epo] , Some say that thou art [men] John [Ioannes] the Baptist [Baptistes] : [de] some [allos] , Elias [Helias] ; and [de] others [heteros] , Jeremias [Ieremias] , or [e] one [heis] of the prophets [prophetes] . KJV-Interlinear
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, '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.' NAS
Two opinions exist concerning Jesus. The first is that He is merely a man, a great name in history, but no more than any other person who has come along and made a name for themselves, and an entry in the history books.
I have a few quotes from historical persons concerning Jesus which refer to Him as just a man:
Pilate said, 'I find no guilt in this man' (Luke 23:4).
Napoleon said, 'I know men, and Jesus was no mere man.'
Diderot referred to Jesus as 'the unsurpassed.'
Strauss, the German rationalist, as 'the highest model of religion.'
John Stuart Mill as 'the guide of humanity.'
The French atheist Renan as 'the greatest among the sons of men.'
Theodore Parker as 'a youth with God in His heart.'
Robert Owens as 'the irreproachable one.'
In our own current day have He has been called the ultimate 'Superstar.'
Those descriptions fall short of identifying Jesus as - the Messiah, God in human flesh.
Who do people of His day call Him? Why would Jesus care or even ask this question? For a couple of reasons. First to focus the attention of the disciples on what the public opinion was, and then to contrast that with who He really is, and to fix and reinforce in their minds, the truth concerning Himself.
Jesus has been teaching, performing miracles, and even has stated outright and in parables His true identity, and He has been doing this for a couple of years now. Who do people think He is? A predecessor of the 'true' Messiah still yet to come.
Remember that the perception is that when Messiah comes, He will be riding down out of heaven on a great and powerful white war horse. He will immediately whip all enemies of the Jewish people, and then establish them as the premier peoples of the world. All will be instantly subjected to them - the Jewish leadership. Rather than they being subjects of Rome and Herod and so forth as they were at that time. The leadership of Judea will be instantly vindicated and their positions established and formally recognized in the presence of the entire world. Or so they thought.
The Jewish people saw the Messiah as one who would rid them of the Romans and the heavy taxes and such. This Jesus was obviously not that. The Pharisees saw the Messiah as one who would recognize their traditional efforts as worthy. The Sadducees saw the Messiah as one who would reestablish the Priesthood and their governmental structure as it was during the time of Moses. Jesus was obviously not that person in their eyes.
Jesus was a threat to them however. He threatened their religious traditions. He threatened their governmental order. He also did not accept the promotion which the masses wished upon Him. For that He will be persecuted and resented for rejection of their promotion to king.
Who do they say? John, Elijah, Jeremiah? All these were perceived as forerunners of the Messiah. Jesus was just another forerunner in their minds. Some other prophet? There is always that category of any crowd which is 'undecided.' Clueless is a better description of those who are indifferent or just do not pay attention to an issue.
We too have to deal with our perception of Jesus. Do we perceive Him as the Messiah, the Christ, as God? Or do we perceive Him as just another storybook character? How we conduct our lives with respect to our Bible study will demonstrate the real truth concerning each of us.
We either approach our study with genuine determination and desire to learn and grow, or we approach our study with a casual interest - a casual interest which separates us from a real spiritual life by a few missing links of subtle indifference in our life. In which case we fool ourselves.
If your interest is truly genuine then you might have an answer to verse 20, coming up. If not, or if you are still learning, or still trying to get with the program, then you probably wonder what verse 20 is all about. Or, you might wonder if I just threw you a curve by randomly implying that there was something to verse 20, when there is not!!! Now who is confused?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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