Going Deeper With The Sermon

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Date: March 5, 2017
Text: Red Letter Jesus: Who Do You Say I Am?


13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 "Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets."15 Then he asked them, "But who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

17 Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means 'rock'), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven." 20 Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

21 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


1. Jesus first question is, "who do people say the Son of Man is?" What answer is he given? What do each of the four responses (v. 14) have in common? What does this suggest about Jesus' ministry? 

2. Jesus then poses the question, in a more direct way, to his disciples: "But, who do you say I am?" (v. 15). Who answers first? How does he answer Jesus' question (v. 16)? Read John 11:27. How does Martha's response compare with Simon Peter's?

3. Read Matthew 8:27 and 14:33. How has the disciples' understanding of Jesus identity changed and developed?

 4. How does Jesus respond to Peter (v. 17)? What does this tell you about the nature of saving faith?

5. Jesus calls Peter, "the rock" (v. 18) and says that upon "this rock, I will build my church" (v. 19). Protestants typically understand Jesus to be referring to himself when he says, "this rock" rather than Peter (which is commonly held by Roman Catholics). Which view do you favor and why?

6. In verse 20, Jesus instructs his disciples not to reveal his identity as the Christ (the Messiah) to anyone. This is called "the Messianic secret" in New Testament studies. Why do you think that Jesus might have desired this?


Heavenly Father, we know that it is only by faith that comes as a result of grace that we can profess with Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Help us to make that good profession today and to bear witness to him in all that we do.