Matthew 16: 13-18 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it."All of Jesus' life, people debated who he was. In fact, people still do. Jesus spent his ministry proclaiming God's word to his people. He strove to prove he was the Son of God more through his works than through his word. He wanted the people to conclude who he was themselves. At this point in his ministry, Jesus' miracles and teachings had many people convinced he was a prophet, a messenger from God. But not everyone was convinced that he was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. In this passage, Jesus questions his disciples about who they think he is. While the people thought he was a prophet, Peter announced that he was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, the promised deliverer of the world. Jesus was pleased and declared that this fact, that Jesus was the Son of God, would be the basis for his church. And in fact, Peter himself would make that fact the cornerstone of the first gospel sermon, preached in Acts 2, when the church was established.
Discussion: Jesus says God revealed Christ's identity to Peter. How did he do that?
Discussion: If Jesus wasn't the Son of God, can Christianity be true? Is it enough to say that Jesus was just a wise man? Was it enough for Jesus to be a prophet? If so, then how can he be a true prophet and claim to be the Son of God? As Josh McDonald teaches in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict", Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord of Lords!
Discussion: The gates of Hades shall not prevail against the church. Until Christ came, death was the ultimate weapon Satan used against man. Man could not overcome or avoid death. Man's kingdom's could be destroyed and his body killed. But when Christ established his kingdom, the church, it was impenetrable against Satan's tool of death. Christ overcame death through his resurrection. And since his death paid for our sins, physical death cannot keep us out of the kingdom. Discuss how the church triumphs over death.
Sing:The Wise Man
Craft: The church is founded on the apostles, with Christ as the head cornerstone. Build a foundation with a big cornerstone labeled Christ, others with the apostles' names, and show individual stones above as students and people in the church they know. Use Styrofoam blocks painted gray, boxes, or even Legos.
True or False
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."Review Questions for gameboard