Brother Ron Barnes
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Son of Man


Dear Brother Ron

Please explain the scripture below:
Matthew 16: 13-19 "When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Johnny


Dear Johnny

First of all, notice that Jesus refers to Himself as "the Son of man". This phrase was used by the Hebrews much as we would use the phrase "once there was a man" in telling a parable. By this, Jesus was referring to Himself as the one who takes the place of all. It is interesting to note that Jesus uses this phrase to refer to himself over 40 times in the New Testament.

Since the term "son of man" is an impersonal term, which could refer to anybody, there is an implication here that we can all be as He was. Jesus told us this many times. Notice also that Jesus never referred to Himself as the Son of God. Our perception of Him as this is taken from this verse.

When Peter said, "You are the Messiah", the Greek term from which this was translated is christos, which means the anointed one. In the Hebrew society, the term christos referred to the one who would come to save the Hebrews. The Messiah was the savior exclusively of the Hebrews, not the gentiles.

When Jesus told Peter that he was the rock on which He would build His church, He was not talking about crystal cathedrals or massive bureaucracies. The term translated as "church" throughout the New Testament is ekklesia, which means a gathering of people. Jesus wanted Peter to gather others to him, as Jesus had done. It is interesting to note how much of Christian doctrine is built on the letters of Paul, who never met Jesus.

It is also from this verse that we get the concept of Peter as the gatekeeper of the gates of heaven, determining who gets in and who doesn't.

Hope this helps.

Best always
Brother Ron