Peter Testifies That Jesus Is the Christ

Matthew 16:13–17

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And 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.

President Marion G. Romney said:

“All three of the synoptic Gospel writers record the following classic illustration of the difficulty one in darkness has in comprehending the light. Matthew’s version reads:

“‘When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

“‘And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets’ (Matt. 16:13–14).

“Now, the people who expressed these opinions were Christ’s contemporaries. Their conclusions evidenced the fact that they knew something about His mighty works. No doubt they were aware of His claim that He was the Son of God. Their minds, however, were opaque to the light of His true identity. Although the light was shining brightly about them, they ‘comprehended it not.’

“Having heard their answer as to who men said He was, Jesus directed to His disciples the question, ‘But whom say ye that I am?’ (Matt. 16:15).

“Then Peter, speaking for himself and presumptively for the others, answered, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Matt. 16:16). In this declaration, Peter evidenced the fact that he and his fellow disciples did comprehend the light shining in the world of spiritual darkness around them.

“In His response to Peter’s answer, Jesus declared a truth understood only by those who comprehend the light by and through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, for Jesus’s answer was:

“‘Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,’ He said, ‘but my Father which is in heaven, . . . and upon this rock’—meaning, upon the rock of revelation, which comes by means of the Holy Ghost—‘I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matt. 16:17–18).”

“How difficult it is to get one in darkness to comprehend the light or to believe that there is such light . . .”

(“The Light of Christ,” Ensign, May 1977, 44.)

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