30. The Confession of Peter. The Prediction of the Lord about His Forthcoming Death and Resurrection.
Then, Jesus went on with His disciples to the villages of
Caesarea Philippi; and on the way, He asked His disciples, "Who do men say
that I am?" They answered, "Some say John
the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets who
"But Who do you say
that I am?" asked Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Peter answered for them all, "You
are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
The Saviour praised Peter for such faith and said
to him, "You are Peter (a rock, according to his faith); and on this rock
(on such faith that I am the Son of God) I will build My Church, and the powers
of Satan shall not prevail against it. And to you Peter, I will give the keys
to the Kingdom of Heaven (such power is given to My Church) that whatever you
bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall
be loosed in Heaven" (this means: for whomever among the believers
belonging to the Church, you do not forgive their sins, they shall not be
forgiven by God; and for whomever, you forgive sins, they shall be forgiven by
God). This is the same authority that the Saviour gave to all His other
apostles (cf. John -23). He
spoke firstly to Peter because the Apostle Peter was the first of them all to
confess before Him his faith that He is the Christ, Son of God.
From this time, Jesus Christ began to reveal to
His disciples that for the salvation of people He would have to suffer much
from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and would be killed, and rise
again on the third day.
Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him, "God forbid,
Lord! This shall never happen to You." By these
words of Peter, it was evident that he had the Jewish understanding of the
Messiah and still did not understand the teaching about the salvation of people
through the suffering of Christ; in him, the earthly feelings still prevailed
over the spiritual. The question of Peter was like the temptation of the Devil,
who also offered to the Lord earthly power instead of spiritual power, the
kingdom of this age instead of the Kingdom
of Heaven. Therefore, Jesus Christ answered, "Get behind Me,
Satan! You are a hindrance to Me; for you are not on
the side of God but of men." Then, He called to the multitude with His
disciples and said to them, "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself (let him not think of his own
convenience), take up his cross (sorrows, suffering, and labour sent to him by
God), and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever
loses his life for My sake and the Gospelís saves it.
For what does it profit a man if he seeking to accumulate earthly
blessings personally for himself gains for himself even the whole world and
forfeits his soul (making it unworthy of the Kingdom
of God, of eternal life)?"
the Gospels of Matthew 16:13-28, Mark -38 and 9:1;