“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, 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.” Matthew 16:13-17 NKJV
Who do men say that you are? Some may identify who you are by the type of experience that they have personally had with you. Some may identify you by the type of person that they have heard about you, on numerous occasions or by the multitude. Some may Identify you by who you appear to be, or who you show yourself to be. Some may say that you are this and that you are that. But, do you even care?
Jesus asked the question, earnestly, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” He didn’t ask that question to the Pharisees and the Sadducees, whom he had just spoken to in the region prior. He asked that question to his beloved disciples. Those who followed him faithfully, who depended on his word, the ones whom he broke down parables to, broke bread with, built a relationship with, the ones to whom he revealed who he truly was. He asked this question to the next generation who he found worthy to bestow the power of the Holy Spirit to be his witnesses, his offspring throughout the earth. And the disciples responded.
They said that some say Jesus is John the Baptist (the Preacher who baptized and proclaimed about the coming of Christ, preparing the way of the Lord). Luke 3:15-16 NKJV says, [Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.]
They said that some say Jesus is Elijah. Elijah was a prophet zealous after the Lord. During the reign of King Ahab (who “did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him… and did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.” 1 Kings 16:30 & 33 NKJV), Elijah commanded that there will be no rain for years until he gave the word that the rain will return “and it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.” 1 Kings 17:7 NKJV. During the drought he dared to ask the question to all the people, [“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.] 1 Kings 18:21 NKJV. [And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”] 1 Kings 18:36-38 NKJV [Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”…Now it happened in the meantime that the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain.] 1 Kings 18:44 & 45 NKJV. Elijah was more than a prophet, he was a true servant of God that did not falter, but did mighty works by the word of the Lord. And he wasn’t just any prophet he was the last prophet to prepare the way for the Lord, the messenger.
[Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; …”] 1 Kings 18:22 NKJV. Here Elijah was not speaking of his present time, that he was the last prophet in his day, but rather he was foretelling of the future, as the Lord revealed to him. [But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”] Luke 1:13-17 NKJV. In the book of Mark, Jesus spoke to the crowds saying “But what did you [really] go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one [more eminent, more remarkable, and] far more than a prophet [who foretells the future]. This is the one of whom it is written [by the prophet Malachi], ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ I assure you and most solemnly say to you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater [in privilege] than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize]. For all the prophets and the Law prophesied up until John. And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is [the fulfillment of] Elijah [as the messenger] who was to come [before the kingdom].” Matthew 11:9-14 AMP.
You can see why, some men said Jesus was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah (the weeping prophet, who was sent to speak to the people that Thus says the Lord; and whose journey can be summed up with these scriptures in an era where the people heard the word but were rebellious and did not take heed) Jeremiah 6:16-17 AMP says [Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the roads and look; ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is; then walk in it, And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’ “I have set watchmen (prophets) over you, Saying, ‘Listen and pay attention to the [warning] sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’]. Jeremiah 6:27 AMP says [“I [the Lord] have set you as an assayer [O Jeremiah] and as a tester [of the ore] of My people, That you may know and analyze their acts.”]
Who do people say you are? Who do they compare you to? They compared Christ to the prophets who spoke the word of the Lord. The works of the God who sent them to prepare the way.
But then Jesus asked the question “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:15-16 NKJV. Who does your closely nit circle say you are? Your friends, your family, those who depend on your word, your ways, the things you say, the things you do, how you do it, those who watch you closely, those who you influence? Who do they say you are? Would they say that you are a walking in the life of who you were created to be in Christ?
Christ has, is, and forever will be, walking in his calling as the Son of the living God. “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Revelation 1:18 NKJV. Christ has the keys to death. But we have keys too. Through the power of his Holy Spirit, he says “on this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades (death) will not overpower it [by preventing the resurrection of the Christ]. I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have [already] been loosed in heaven.” Amen.
Who are you? You are a disciple of Christ. You are a rock and you were made to edify the kingdom of God. You have been given power through his Holy Spirit. You have been given the keys of Kingdom and Heaven and your tongue is a fire that needs to be constantly put under the power of the Holy Spirit, because from it speaks life and death. With it you can bind and loose and you can move mountains. And we say Amen because it has already been done in heaven as it is on earth.