Who Do Men Say That I the Son of man am?
September 14, 2014, 1:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In Matthew 16:13, while in the region of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples a question. “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” While most of us have read this account, we sometimes don’t study the passage. When looking at this question, what do you see? First, the question was asked by Jesus. Second, the question was asked when Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi. Third, He asked the question to His disciples. Fourth, He asked His disciples whom do men say I am. Finally, fifth, He refers to Himself as the Son of man. Usually, when studying the Bible, I consider the entire context instead of just pulling one verse out. But today, let’s just look at these five questions and consider answers.
Jesus knew the answer that the disciples would give. He also knew the correct answer. So the question wasn’t asked for Jesus to learn something. Sometimes questions are used to get us to think. Jesus understood that the answer to this question would reveal the awareness of the disciples of those around them. When answering the question, the disciples would reveal what they are heard and the influence of those they knew. What are the voices who are telling you who Jesus is?
Second, what was the importance of Caesarea Philippi? Caesarea Philippi was built on a huge wall of rock. The city was dedicated to false gods. Jesus uses this city to contrast with the confession that Peter would make. Who is Jesus, the Son of man? He is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living (real, authentic, only) God. This big, important city was built on a rock, but based on foolishness. Jesus was wanting the disciples to know the reality of the true and living God. Son of man? Yes but also Son of God, an Old Testament phrase which was understood as a name of God.
Third, the disciples were asked the question because Jesus knew that He wasn’t the only one teaching them. They were hearing contrasting messages. Today, each student I teach is hearing the message about Jesus from my class, their parents, and their church. But they are also hearing a contrasting message from the other influences in their lives. To me it is interesting that Jesus wanted to initiate the conversation about who He was. When is the last time you talked with your child and asked them, “what is your relationship with Jesus Christ like, right now?” I am glad for the knowledge of when I got saved but the reality of my relationship with Jesus Christ is evident right now. When the New Testament is examined, people gave evidence of their current relationship with Jesus. Talk to your child about how your relationship with Christ is evident to you, right now. If you have ever read the passage in Matthew 7 about those who say, “Lord, Lord” but the Lord doesn’t know, it should challenge you to ask about the relationship.
Fourth, Jesus wanted know what men were teaching about Him. Don’t you think that He had answered the critics? When the critics spoke, the evidence that Jesus gave silenced their voices. Christianity is a relationship of faith that is based on evidence. Think about the mountain of evidence surrounding the resurrection. Faith in Christ is a faith that is logical and reasonable. The Holy Spirit puts light on truth, but we have a faith based on more than feelings. I also think that the disciples had a personal knowledge of what Christ was like that the critics didn’t have. The longer we know Christ, the more we are in love with Him because He is more amazing that we expected.
Finally, Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of man. He identifies with us. I personally am happy that He knows what we go through. But Son of man has another purpose. Daniel 7 uses the term to indicate a exalted person. This was Jesus’ favorite term for Himself. He identifies with us, but He is also the exalted One because of redemption. In Philippians, we read that Jesus was found in fashion like a man, so that He could become obedient to death on the cross. Because of His humbling obedience, God highly exalted Him by giving Him a name above all names, that will bring every knee to bow before Him and confess that Jesus the Christ is Lord, because He is the Redeemer.
Who do you say that Jesus is?