"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" Matthew 16:17-19. This is the moment Christ revealed to Peter part of his identity. In verse 17, Jesus calls him Simon, but in the next verse He declares that You are Peter which means rock or stone. And stone symbolizes foundation or something to build from. And certainly Peter was a foundational piece of the early church. As a matter of fact, he was one, if not the lead disciple. How do I know? Peter was always mentioned first when listed among the disciples. Why is this proof? Well, Judas Iscariot (betrayed Jesus) was always mentioned last. And once Peter received identity confirmation, Christ gave him the keys to the Kingdom and proclaimed that the gates of Hades (hell) would not prevail against it.Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/inhisgrace/
Many of us have been introduced to Christ by flesh and blood but He truly hasn't been revealed to us. We have only come to "know of" Christ through word of mouth. Our appraisal of God usually determines how we value Him. And our appraisal is usually based on outside influences. For example, our parents said that they were Christians, so we went to church every once in a while and that was it. That's why our relationship with him is restricted to visiting a nice building every Sunday. Some of us see him We value Him through religion and tradition; not as sons and daughters. It wasnt until Peter acknowledged whom Christ was, that he received his identity. To recognize Jesus as Messiah means we see him as our liberator, deliverer, and redeemer. He is more than just a Sunday sermon. He is our life blood and we can't function without Him!
We go through the motions of Christianity without ever getting a true revelation of Christ from God in heaven. I call it identity crisis because we are confused about who Christ is and our identity in Him. Let's stop operating as orphans and function as sons and daughters. So again Jesus asks, "Who do you say I am?"