27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
28 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
29 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah."
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."
Jesus is the one who is rejected, suffers and rises. Elijah and John the Baptist were forerunners of him- in their holiness, in their asking others to repent and turn back to God. Elijah suffered at the hands of Jezebel who tried to kill him, and John the Baptist at the hands of Herod. Jesus suffered at the hand of Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas. The religious leaders suffered at the hands of the rulers.
Peter wanted Jesus to not suffer, but smoothly rule the world. But this was not God's way. In America we would much rather cope with the suffering and ease the suffering than truly change. We would rather smooth things over and compromise than to face the cross and rise again. But the difference between Jesus and Elijah and John was that Jesus is the Savior. He is the messiah who came to save his people from their sins. He is not just telling us how to cope with the consequences of ous sin, or get around the consequences, or even just repent, but He came to tell us to repent and be saved. Jesus, himself, is our hope. His salvation came by what Peter was telling him to avoid.
Prayer: Lord, give me grace to recognize your carrying the cross and to follow in your footsteps.
John Cavlin: The latest rumor [of who Jesus was] was from those who spoke of Christ with respect- the flower of the church. Yet even these people did not get it right. How great is the weakness of the human mind; for not only is it unable to understand what is right and true, but even with true motives it coins errors. "Who do you say that I am"- though the world may be enamored and carried away with its inventions, true believers should continue to adhere to Christ.