13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “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.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. Matthew 16:13-20
We compare great people to other great people. Our capacity to assess greatness is limited by our knowledge and intellect. Some have read many books and know men and women of great accomplishments. Others have only temporal exposure to greatness, from press reports of the famous.
Here the Jews knew of the prophets, and did see in Jesus their greatest attributes. But they could not cross the bridge to who he really was, but by revelation directly from God. Peter had crossed this bridge.
If we know Jesus as the Christ we have been granted such knowledge by God himself, and as such we are blessed beyond measure. Further, while we are but a stone, with us he will build his church, not on the backs of human effort, but on the massive rock of his truth, which is founded on the reality of Jesus’ relationship to his father.
As Jesus did the will his father in heaven, so do we. As Jesus withstood all that hell could throw at him, so will we. At the same time, the church will be left standing in the end, triumphant.
He told the disciples not to tell fellow Jews about him, because his time on earth was about to end. They had squandered their opportunity. We pray that God opens the eyes of those around us to know true greatness before it’s too late!