The rumors were circulating, and He wanted to know what people were saying. What is the word on the street? Some speculated that He was the eccentric John the Baptist. After all, that fire-and-brimstone preacher had stirred up quite a ruckus. Then again, other folks pointed to a different prophet, maybe from long ago like Elijah or Jeremiah. There was plenty of chatter. There still is. There has never been a shortage of opinions about the self-proclaimed “Son of Man.” Most of them, both then and now, miss the mark.
Speculation had smothered revelation. The Father had made it clear to Peter. He got it straight from the source. This was no one less than the Christ, the Son of the living God. The old fisherman nailed it. All of the signs indicated that fact. A book full of prophecies had all pointed to the one born among the animals. Angels announced it before He was ever born. The shepherds knew what the scholars missed. This was the one they had been anticipating, and preconceptions blinded their eyes.
It is hard to imagine a more unlikely figure to figure it out. His background was in nets, boats and fish; hardly the scholastic credentials we might expect. He would stumble at times and waver at others. He was confident, but that was clearly misplaced. “I’ll never” turned into “I don’t know Him” at the challenge of a slave girl as he retreated into the darkness. Still, he had that critical information in his head, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” That was the foundation of a new culture, not Peter’s strength but the Lord’s true identity.
That would prove to be the foundation upon which He would build His special people, the church of Christ. It is His, bought and paid for by His extraordinarily pure and holy blood. It is not a secondary thought or a marginal issue. That is a human way of thinking built not on the rock but on popular opinion. Jesus loves His church and gave His life for Her (Ephesians 5:25). To minimize the significance of the church is to devalue the agony of the crucifixion and say it does not matter.
The day is coming in which the Son of God will present His church, not just any church, but His church holy and blameless. She will have no flaws or blemishes because she has been thoroughly washed and cleansed by the blood of the lamb. It will be an amazing day in which Christians will finally be home with their Father.
Jesus looked ahead that day as He talked with the apostles about the time when He would build His very special and unique church. There is no other. Peter understood how special the Lord was and still stumbled. The Son of God built His church anyway, and today we remember.