Matthew, Chapter 16
Matt. 16:13 "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he
asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias;
and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But
whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art
the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said
unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not
revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say
also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my
church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I
will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever
thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou
shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his
disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ."
The Lord, having all knowledge, did not need anyone to tell him
something he did not already know. Nevertheless, he asked the disciples,
"Whom do men say I the Son of man am." He asked this question, not for
his benefit, but for our benefit. Popular opinion has never been right
about who Jesus is. The disciples answered, "Some say thou art John the
Baptist…" This notion had been set forth by King Herod, who had John
beheaded. He said that Jesus was John raised from the dead. He did this
because he knew that killing John was a very unpopular decision with the
Jews who believed John to be a prophet. By saying that Jesus was John
resurrected Herod could escape some of the unpopular backlash of killing
John. This opinion was a government promoted opinion and some people
believe if it comes from the government then it must be true.
The second opinion of the people was that Jesus was "Elias." This stems
from the prophecy in Malachi 4:5: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the
prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD."
However, Jesus told us that John had come in the spirit of Elijah: Matt.
11:13 "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 And if
ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come." Thus, popular
opinion was wrong on this count also.
The third opinion of the people was that Jesus was "Jeremias." This was
the result of people's speculative thinking as there are no prophecies
of someone coming in the spirit of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. Again,
popular opinion was wrong.
The fourth opinion of the people was that Jesus was "one of the
prophets." Jesus did not come as "one of the prophets." In all four
opinions, the people were wrong.
The same is true today as far as what people popularly think of Jesus.
Some say that he was a good moral man, but not the Son of God. Others
say that he was a prophet, but not the Son of God. Even others say that
he attempted to be a Savior, but it is dependant on the people letting
him save them. Additionally, some say that he is a historic figure, but
not the Son of God. Popular opinion will never identify the true
identity of Jesus.
Jesus then asked the disciples, "But whom say ye that I am?" Peter
answered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Peter
answered correctly, but the reason he answered correctly confounds many
people today. Many people believe that the only way that one can know
who is Jesus is if they inform them who he is. They believe that they
can teach people to know the Lord and to know who he is. Jesus, however,
told Peter how that he knew the correct answer: " Blessed art thou,
Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but
my Father which is in heaven." Peter did not know that Jesus was the
Christ, the Son of the living God because some man had revealed it unto
him, but he knew that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God
because the Father had revealed it unto him. In Hebrews chapter 8 we are
told: 11 "And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every
man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the
least to the greatest." We know the Lord not because some man taught us
to know the Lord, but we know the Lord because the Lord taught us to
The purpose of the true gospel is not to get people to know the Lord,
but to teach people more about the Lord. The Lord reveals himself to his
people, the gospel teaches them many things about him.
To know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God is indeed a
great blessing from God. It indicates that we are among the elect, that
we have been born of the Spirit, and that the eternal heaven will be our
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I
will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it." Many have thought this to teach that Jesus is saying that the
church is built on Peter. However, a close examination reveals that this
cannot be. The Greek word translated Peter is "petros" meaning a small
fragment of a rock. The Greek word translated rock is "petra" meaning a
giant mass of a rock. Thus, Jesus was saying to Peter that he was just a
small pebble, but the church would be built on a giant boulder, which is
The church is built on the revealed truth of Jesus Christ. The church is
built upon three great truths about Christ. First, it is build on who
Christ is. Christ is the eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent,
all-wise, unchangeable God.
Second, the church is built on what Christ did and is doing. Christ work
is a covenant work according to Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did
foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his
Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom
he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he
also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Based on
this covenant, God chose a people before the world began and
predestinated them to be conformed to the image of his Son. Christ
justified them with his shed blood, calls them into spiritual life at
His appointed time, and glorifies them in the resurrection.
Third, the church is built upon the word of Christ. 2 Tim. 3:16 "All
scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all
good works." The church if founded upon the scriptures which are a
thorough furnisher unto all good works.
"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and
whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and
whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." The
keys of the kingdom of heaven (church kingdom) were given to Peter as a
representative of the gospel ministry. Keys are for loosing and binding.
A part of the work of the gospel ministry is to do some loosing and some
binding. Some have thought the above to read "and whosover thou shalt
loose…" It is not "whosoever," but "whatsoever." Thus it is not people
being loosed and bound, but truths and errors being bound and loosed
from the thinking of God's people. When we are loosed from an error on
earth, we are loosed from that same error in this Church that God has
given us. Furthermore, when we are bound to the truth on earth, we are
bound to the truth in this Church (kingdom of heaven) that God has given
"Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was
Jesus the Christ." Based on popular opinion this statement would make no
sense to us. It is popularly held that the only way that people can know
that Jesus is the Christ is through some man telling them. But, the Lord
told them not to tell any man. If knowing who is Christ is dependant on
preaching the gospel, an knowing him is a prerequisite of gaining the
glory world, then the Lord would be guilty of causing people not to be
given a chance of gaining the glory world. However, our home in the
glory world is not dependant upon the actions of men and it is God that
reveals that Jesus is the Christ to his people.
Matt. 16:21 "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his
disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of
the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised
again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him,
saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But
he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an
offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but
those that be of men."
Several times the Lord spoke to the disciples about the fact that he was
going to be killed and raised again the third day. Yet they did not
believe him. What they did not believe in was the resurrection of the
dead. Furthermore, they hated the idea that he would be killed. The
disciples had believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah that was
coming to set up a kingdom that would be an everlasting kingdom. They,
at this time, thought that the kingdom would be a natural kingdom on
earth. They did not understand that it would be a spiritual kingdom.
This same Peter who just before had declared by the revelation of the
Father that "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, now was
rebuking the Lord and saying, "Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not
be unto thee." While the Spirit of God had revealed Christ unto Peter,
now the spirit of Satan was working in Peter to deny the work of the
Lord. Subsequently, the Lord rebuked Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan:
thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be
of God, but those that be of men."
Peter is an illustration of our two-fold nature. The one nature of the
inner man desires the things of God and the one nature of the outer
flesh desires the things of the flesh. It was in this outer flesh nature
under the leadership of the spirit of Satan that Peter rebuked the Lord.
The flesh in its pride desired to see Jesus sitting on a natural throne
in Jerusalem, reigning in a natural kingdom, with the disciples being
chief in that government. Peter was savoring the things of men rather
than the things of God. What Peter did not realize is that the greatest
and best thing that could happen to Peter and to all the elect is that
Jesus would die on the cross to redeem us from our sins and would raise
the third day, victorious over sin, death, hell, the devil, and the
Some have thought that Peter was the first pope (There are no popes in
God's kingdom). Yet, here the Lord calls him Satan as the spirit of
Satan was working in him. The popes are erroneously claimed to be
infallible. Yet, Peter was very fallible as are all of God's ministers
Matt. 16:24 "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come
after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose
his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he
shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man
give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the
glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man
according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing
here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man
coming in his kingdom."
What does it mean to deny oneself? To deny oneself, we must mortify the
deeds of the self (deny self) so that we may follow the leadership of
the Spirit and the teaching of the word of God. "For whosoever will save
his life shall lose it." If we save our life after the fleshly desires,
we will lose the enjoyment of our life after the spiritual endeavors of
the inner man and the joys of the kingdom of heaven. "And whosoever will
lose his life for my sake shall find it." When we mortify the deeds of
the flesh and no longer live to fulfill the carnal desires, then we find
the joy, peace, and comfort of spiritual life in the kingdom of heaven.
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose
his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" This
is not teaching that a person can lose eternal life. All of the elect
will live in glory with Christ without the loss of a single one.
However, if we could strive for the fulfillment of the fleshly desires
and somehow gain the whole world, what has it profited us, if we lose
the joy of our salvation? There is nothing in this world that is worth
exchanging for the joy, peace, and comfort that we have in the Holy
Ghost. To gain the whole world and to lose this makes us not to prosper,
but to greatly diminish. This being a truth, then we should strive to
serve the Lord with all of our heart.
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his
angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Our
works on earth will not be rewarded in the glory world. In the glory
world, we will be all heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ. What could be
greater than that? The reward for our works comes here in time. The Lord
indeed came in the glory of the Father at his resurrection and ascension
into heaven and the sending of the Holy Comforter to comfort us. The
word, angels, means messengers. There are heavenly messengers that we
call angels. Sometimes, however, the word angel refers to earthly
messengers or the gospel ministry. The Lord has come in the Spirit of
God with his gospel ministry to declare the wonderful works of God and
to tell us what we should do in this life. We are rewarded in this life
for the good deeds that we do.
"There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they
see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." In Chapter 17, we see Jesus
in the mount of transfiguration and this is typical of Christ coming in
his church kingdom. However, many of those with Jesus also experienced
seeing his death, resurrection, and ascension into glory. They also saw
the Spirit descend in power on the day of Pentecost. They literally saw
the Son of man coming in his kingdom.