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author on July 1st, 2009

Back when Jesus walked the earth, there was a lot of speculation as to who he was. As indicated in this passage, some thought He was John the Baptist, some said Elijah, others said one of the prophets (Mark 8:28Mark 8:28
English: World English Bible - WEB

28 They told him, “John the Baptizer, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets.”

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). If you’re looking for indications that the Bible advocates any notion of reincarnation, this is about as close as you’ll get. Really, they were probably thinking in terms of Jesus being one of these great prophets risen from the dead.

But Peter – and likely most of the other disciples – knew who He really was: “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:29Mark 8:29
English: World English Bible - WEB

29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

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).

That’s all gospel writer Mark has to say about it. But turn back to Matthew 16:17-19Matthew 16:17-19
English: World English Bible - WEB

17 Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 I also tell you that you are Peter, Peter’s name, Petros in Greek, is the word for a specific rock or stone. and on this rock Greek, petra, a rock mass or bedrock. I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will be released in heaven.”

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and you’ll gain a lot more insight! Peter was not a Pharisee or a Scribe, not learned in the scriptures. Peter was a fisherman. The Jewish leaders of the day, with all their knowledge, didn’t recognize Jesus as Messiah. But this simple fisherman did.

In the Matthew passage, Jesus says something vital to Christian doctrine: “This was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in heaven.” So all the book smarts in the world won’t reveal this vital truth to you; all the experiences of life won’t help you. Only the Heavenly Father can reveal this to you.

I’ve read books by brilliant Bible expositors, studied doctrine and philosophy. I don’t understand most of it, and couldn’t begin to explain most of the concepts. But one thing I do understand is when these speakers and authors simply state – confess – Jesus Christ as Messiah. Unlike the Pharisees, they’ve overcome their vast knowledge and humbled themselves so that the Heavenly Father could reveal to them His Son, sent to redeem the world from sin.

Jesus continues in Matthew 16:18Matthew 16:18
English: World English Bible - WEB

18 I also tell you that you are Peter, Peter’s name, Petros in Greek, is the word for a specific rock or stone. and on this rock Greek, petra, a rock mass or bedrock. I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

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that Peter’s humble confession – impossible to know without divine revelation – was the basis on which the church would be built. And today that prophesy is seen in churches around the world which all share the premise of being built upon the humble confession revealed by God.

Will you humble yourself today and allow God to reveal to you His Son?