Who is Jesus?

Nativity Scene, Adoration of the Magi , Saint Etienne du Mont Church, Paris.

Who do the crowds say that I am? So they answered and said, John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again. He said to them, But who do you way that I am? Peter answered and said, The Christ of God.

Luke 9:18-20.

Jesus had been alone praying, when his disciples joined Him, He asked them this question. This was a turning-point in the story of Jesus’ activity. First, John the Baptist had announced the coming of the Redeemer and of His kingdom. When Jesus had actually come and been baptized by John, he drew people’s attention to the Son of God (cf. John 1:29-36):

Then the Lord Himself announced the kingdom of God, and the miracles He performed confirmed Him as the Christ, the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. It was even more disappointing that most people saw Jesus as an important person, possibly a prophet. Peter, on the other hand, revealed genuine faith. His reply to the Lord’s question as to who they considered Him to be was a clear confession of “the Christ of God”.

This disciple’s confession of Christ, the King of Israel, was no longer to be the subject of their preaching. Jesus was preparing them to realize that He would go to the cross to suffer and die for the sins of many (cf. vv. 21 & 22)., This meant that the kingdom of God could not yet be established in power and glory. But Jesus would be raised again on the third day, proving that He was truly the Christ and that the dawning of His kingdom would certainly take place (cf. Acts 2:32-36).