Matthew 16:13 “…the region of Caesarea Philippi…”
North of the Sea of Galilee. Commentary traced the past few movements of Jesus as recorded in Matthew. Appears He went up through Tyre and Sidon, then down to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, over to the western side, back to the eastern side, then traveled north to Caesarea Philippi. Commentary suggests Jesus is staying out of the densely populated areas. Suggested reasons are just speculation.
17 “…Simon Bar-Jonah…”
Simon, son of Jonah.
17 “…flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven”
Not something Peter figured out on his own, but his desire to know the truth, his faith in God and His promise to send the Messiah have opened his eyes. Others have seen the same thing, but didn’t reach the same conclusion.
18 “…you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church…”
Much has been debated on this and the next verse. Much false doctrine has arisen from its misinterpretation. Most of that comes from failing to consider the words used, the context of the verse, and the entire Bible as a whole. At this point, we see that the words used for Peter and rock are different, so Jesus wasn’t saying He was building His church on Peter. To do so wouldn’t fit basic theology either as the church is built on Christ alone. Peter was a rock due to what he believed and had just confessed. That same faith and belief in Christ is what Jesus was going to build on. Were it not for that, Christianity and the family of God could not have continued for over 2000 years.
19 “…I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”
Main words here are keys and whatever. Keys give one access or the ability to open for others. The disciples were slow to understand, but they finally had their eyes open to who and what Jesus was as the Messiah. They spent the rest of their lives opening the good news of salvation to the world. Jesus said whatever, not whoever. Some use this and the previous verse to give Peter supreme authority over the family of God and in some cases who is allowed into Heaven. That’s not what it says. From the teaching of Jesus and the direction of the Holy Spirit, the disciples would be able to discern the teachings and doctrines of the early churches, what to put in, what to leave out. Much of that is shown in Acts as different issues arose.
21 “From that time…be killed, and be raised the third day”
They have finally seen and believed that He is indeed the Messiah. Now He is spending time showing them what that means for this time. Their ideas of what the Messiah was supposed to do aren’t going to be fulfilled this time around. Some have suggested that this may have been when Judas began to turn. If he was following Jesus because he thought He was going to set up an earthly kingdom, the news that Jesus was going to apparently offer Himself up as a martyr wouldn’t have sat so well.
22 “…Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him…”
It didn’t sit well with Peter either. But his heart was in the right place. Once he got over some major issues, he would be able to be the leader Jesus knew he was.
24 “…If anyone desires to come after Me…take up his cross, and follow Me”
What Jesus was trying to get across to them throughout this section. His kingdom begins in the heart. One day He will return to establish His earthly kingdom, but for now, it is built one believer at a time.
26 “…what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul…”
One of my favorites phrases of Jesus. What difference does anything make on this earth if you lose it all in the life hereafter. The best you can do here is 120 years or so. What is that compared to 500, 1000, eternity. And you leave it all behind. Makes so much more sense to invest for the long term, not the short.
28 “…some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom”
Different interpretations on this one. Obviously Jesus wasn’t saying that some standing there would live until He came back. So the reference to His kingdom must be that of the spiritual, not the physical. Indeed, all the disciples other than Judas lived to see the church begin at Pentecost and grow from there.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.