21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 22:15,19-23 II:
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?"
14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
(v.13) Caesarea Philippi, where Peter professed that Jesus was the Messiah, is a city built by prince Philip on the slope of Mount
Hermon, north of Palestine. This place was known as a place of divine revelation in the
(v.16) The term "Messiah" reflects the disciples' hope that Jesus would
deliver Israel from its enemies and establish God's kingdom on earth.
Verse 16 is parallel to
Mk 8:27-28. However Matthew
added a further specification of Jesus' identity as the Son of the living God.
The phrase the "Son of the living God" corrects any false implications
present in the title Messiah. In the Jewish context, the word Messiah has
for most people a very precise meaning: the coming Davidic king, the
religious/political leader who would restore the power and glory of the nation
of Israel. Jesus consistently refuses a political interpretation of his
(v.18) In the New Testament, Jesus mentions Peter's name 195 times as compared to
130 times for all the rest of Apostles.
One Main Point
Peter makes his declaration of faith in Christ. Jesus appoints Peter as
the leader of the Church as well as the gatekeeper of the kingdom of heaven.
- If Jesus comes and asks me who he is, how would I answer? If
someone asks me who Jesus is, how do I explain?
- Jesus called Peter to be the leader of his Church. In what role does Jesus call me
- Imagine myself being present at Caesarea Philippi among the apostles;
how does Jesus react (gesture, facial expressions, tone) to Peter's answer?
How do the apostles react when Peter is named the leader of the Church?
- Put myself in Peter's position; what will I do for the Church?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community