“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And 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.’ Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ.” – Matthew 16:13-20
Observation Questions (What do you see?)
- Where does this conversation take place?
- The people are identifying Jesus with whom?
- Who does Peter say Jesus is?
- Who is Simon’s father?
- How did Peter know who Jesus is?
- What did Jesus tell Peter that he would do? And what would Jesus do?
- Is this the first time that we see the word, “church”, in the New Testament?
- The church belongs to whom?
- What shall not have victory over the church?
- How is the earth and heaven connected?
- What command did Jesus give to His disciples?
Interpretation Questions (What do you understand?)
- What does it mean to be a disciple?
- What is significant about the title, “Son of Man”?
- What does the title, “Christ”, mean?
- Why do the names of these particular prophets come up?
- What is significant about the location of where Jesus is talking with His disciples?
- What is the Greek word for Peter? For “rock”?
- Metaphorically, what does the rock represent?
- What is Peter’s importance to the Church?
- What does it mean to have the keys of the kingdom of heaven?
- Why did Jesus give that command at the end of this passage?
Application Questions (How do these words impact your heart and change you?)
- Are you intimidated by the overwhelming predominance of false religion?
- How big is Jesus? What is the extent of His power and sovereignty?
- What are people saying today about Jesus? Is it really any different over how people looked at Jesus two thousand years ago?
- Who do you say is Jesus?
- How was this revealed to you? Is that humbling?
- With all the difficulties, does it appear the church is prevailing over hell?
- How is Jesus enabling you to overcome evil as a member of His body?
- And in thinking about what other members are doing or not doing, how is Jesus building His church through you?
- Are you confident in Christ’s work in you, through you, in others, and through others?