Introduction: 1. In Matthew 16:13 Jesus asked His disciples a question. 2. He asked them about the views that people held concerning His identity. 3. From the conversation that followed we learn that: a. it is possible to be wrong about who Jesus is b. we can correctly know who Jesus is. 4. As we proceed through our lesson we need to consider a very important question: "Do you know who Jesus is?"
I. WE LEARN FROM VS.14 THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE WRONG ABOUT WHO JESUS IS
A. The disciples informed Jesus that people held various views about His identity. B. For example, some thought that Jesus was John the Baptist. 1. One man who thought this was Herod (Matthew 14:1-2). 2. It seems that there were others who thought that Jesus was John. a. Perhaps this conclusion was reached because of the similarities in the preaching of Jesus and John. b. Their messages were basically the same (Matthew 3:1-2; 4:17). 3. This confusion could have been avoided if people had just listened to John (John 1:29-34). 4. Those who thought that Jesus was John were mistaken. C. Others thought that Jesus was Elijah. 1. Elijah was the prophet who went up into heaven by a whirlwind. 2. In Malachi 4:5-6 a prophecy stated that Elijah would return. 3. Perhaps these people thought that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. 4. (Matthew 11:11-14) Jesus said that John fulfilled it. 5. Those who thought that Jesus was Elijah were mistaken. D. Still others thought that Jesus was Jeremiah or one of the other prophets. 1. Jesus was a prophet; however, He was not just a prophet - He was THE PROPHET who was to come (Deuteronomy 18:17-18). 2. According to Acts 3:22, Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. 3. Jesus was not Jeremiah or one of the other prophets - He was THE PROPHET who was to come into the world. E. With all this confusion, we might begin to wonder if we can really know who Jesus is; however, the Lord assures us that we can (John 5:39). F. Let us turn our attention to the fact that . . .
II. IT IS POSSIBLE TO CORRECTLY KNOW WHO JESUS IS
A. Let us consider an unlikely source that we read about in Mark 1:23-24. 1. A demon recognized "Jesus of Nazareth" as "the Holy One of God." 2. If demons could properly identify Jesus, people should be able to do so. B. Let us consider what the apostle Peter said about who Jesus is. 1. In vs.15 Jesus asked His disciples what they had to say about His identity. 2. In vs.16 Peter said that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God." 3. In vs.17 Jesus: a. blessed Peter for properly recognizing Him b. said that the Father had revealed this information to Peter. 4. Peter had seen Jesus prove His divinity on numerous occasions. a. (Matthew 8:14-15) He saw Jesus heal his mother-in-law. b. (Matthew 14) Peter saw Jesus feed 5,000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. c. (Matthew 14) Peter saw Jesus calm a great storm. 5. The Father revealed His Son's identity to Peter through this evidence. 6. By examining evidence we can reach the same conclusion (John 20:30-31). C. Let us consider what Jesus said about who He is. 1. In vs.13 Jesus referred to Himself as "the Son of man." a. In John 1:1-3 Jesus is introduced as a member of the Godhead, but John continued by saying that Jesus "was made flesh" (vs.14). b. In Hebrews 2:17-18 the Bible teaches us why Jesus became flesh. 2. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus identified Himself as the builder of His church. a. Jesus said He would build His church upon the fact that He is God's Son. b. He also touched on His resurrection when He said that "the gates of hell" would not prevent His church from being built. c. According to Romans 1:4, the Lord's resurrection proves that He is "the Son of God." D. Let us consider what God the Father said about who Jesus is. 1. In Matthew 3:16-17 God recognized Jesus as His "beloved Son." 2. In Matthew 17:5 God recognized Jesus in the same way.
1. We have learned some important information about the Lord's identity. a. He is not the embodiment of some great person from the past. b. He is the "Son of man," the "Christ, the Son of the living God," and the "builder of His church." 2. Who do you say that Jesus is? 3. Identifying Jesus as God's Son is extremely important (John 8:24). 4. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, a. have you obeyed His instructions to be saved (Mark 16:16; Luke 6:46)? b. have you come to Him to be added to His church (Acts 2:47)?