by Jerry Vines

Matthew 16:13-17
Jerry Vines

When I was in college I had a professor who had a rather unusual way of giving examinations.
At the completion of the course you would go in for the final examination and he would always give you
one examination question. Only one question. The unusual thing about that one question is that when
you gave the answer to the question it required you to give everything that the professor had taught in
the whole course throughout the whole semester. Only one question but the answer was a complete
summarization of everything that had been taught at that particular course.
The Lord Jesus has been teaching His disciples. All the way through the book of Matthew
these disciples have been with Jesus. They have heard the Lord Jesus teach. They have seen the
miracles which Jesus performed. They have observed His behavior. Now, examination time has come.
The Lord Jesus is going to basically ask them one question and in the answer to that question everything
is going to be pulled together. Jesus is going to ask His disciples, Who am I? In the answer to the
question of who Jesus is is everything tied together. It ties together the past and the present and the
future. If you answer that question together properly you put time and eternity together. Heaven and
hell are wrapped up in that question. The answer to that question will determine your personal salvation.
And on your answer to that question hinges your personal destiny.
So, we come to the great divide in Matthew's Gospel. All the way up to this point in the book,
Matthew has been showing us who Jesus is. Examination time has come and Jesus carries His disciples
into Ceserea Philippi. It is above the Sea of Galilee. It is just below the lofty snow-capped mountains
of Herman in Ceserea Philippi. In that particular area ...

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