Peter’s testimony of Christ
Scripture: Matthew 16:13-28
Aim: To reinforce the pupil’s belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God by using Peter’s confession as to the identity of Jesus Christ as God’s Son.
Golden Text: “And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God'” (Matthew 16:16).
A perpetual question surrounds the person of Jesus Christ. Each new generation asks the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?”
When a person begins to investigate the claims as to who Jesus Christ is, they at first disbelieve the truths that they find. Some dismiss the Bible’s claims that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. With that dismissal they also deny the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
Their reasoning is purely human. They look at all the natural things around them, the way things operate, the manner and methods of the human race, plus whatever else they may want to use to “disprove” the claims concerning Jesus Christ.
Above all else there is one fact that cannot be denied by believer or unbeliever. That fact is that Jesus Christ has had the greatest influence in the world of men of any one or any thing else. To remove Jesus Christ, His teachings, and His influence on the human race would leave a huge gap, which nothing else can ever fill.
For example, the void left in the literature of men would change the voluminous books to a fraction of those that have been published. Think of all the books that have been written to deny that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the virgin born human being, and the resurrected Lord of all lords. As great as that number is, think of all that has been written expounding these truths concerning Jesus Christ.
Here is some of the teaching in the New Testament regarding Jesus Christ.
I. Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matthew 16:13-14). The answers came. Some say you are John the Baptist raised from the dead. Some say you are Elijah come back. Some say you are Jeremiah; or else, another one of the Old Testament prophets. Of course all these were just fanciful notions of foolish men with foolish ideas.
II. Jesus asked His disciples, “But whom say ye that I am?” (Matthew 16:15-19). Peter was bold and straightforward, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (vs. 16).
“Christ”—Messiah promised in the old Testament. The promised savior of men.
“Son”—The divine Son of God. He was God and man—the God-Man.
“Son of the living God”—there is only one “living God.”
All the gods of men are dead or else the imaginations and inventions of the minds of men. Only Jehovah God is the “living God” and He alone remains God regardless of what ever claims men may have.
Jesus responded to Peter’s confession that God had revealed this truth to him (vs. 17). He further told Peter that upon the facts of His identity given in Peter’s testimony, He would build His Church, which neither men nor devils could hinder or conquer (vs. 18).
Further, Jesus would give to Peter the keys to open the door of salvation to men who would believe in Christ (vs. 19, Peter used those keys to open the gospel to the Jews and Gentiles).
III. Jesus began to teach the disciples that He would go to Jerusalem and die at the hands of wicked men (Matthew 16:20-23). He asked that they not tell people that He was Messiah (vs. 20). Reason? He was going to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the scribes only to be raised from the dead in three days (vs. 21-23).
In the last verses of the chapter (vs. 27-28) Jesus foretold that He would someday come back to the earth and set up His kingdom. Only the true Son of the Living God could do these things!