Peter's identification of Jesus as the Christ and first prophecy of the church
|13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
|27And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
|18And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? 19They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
|20Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
|30And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
|21And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
Near the city of Dan in its setting of a lush paradise is place filled with beautiful ponds and lush woods. This area is fed by a tributary of the Jordan River, the Banias (the Arabic pronunciation of Paneas). This gem of a site is set against the russet cliffs of Mount Hermon. In antiquity, the large rock hewn cave and the nearby niches contained statues of Pan, the Greek god of hunters, flocks and shepherds. The excavations near the cave have revealed foundations of large buildings, possibly a temple to Augustus Caesar mentioned by Josephus. Archaeologists are currently excavating the market area to the right of the road that was used to enter the pools and caves of Panias or, as it was known in the time of Christ, Caesarea Philippi.
It was at Caesarea Philippi that the disciples understood Jesus’ true identity. Here He taught His disciples for the first time that His mission was to go to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed, and be raised up on the third day. This week long teaching session was capped by an event witnessed only by Peter, James and John: the transfiguration. It was here that Jesus put together for His disciples the twin truths of His humility and His glory.