Just before Jesus’ transfiguration in Matthew 17, He asked the apostles what people were saying about Him. No different than today, people had many opinions about Jesus. Finally, Peter responds by saying plainly that Jesus is the Anointed One (i.e., Messiah or Christ), the Son of the Living God. Notice carefully what follows:
- Jesus calls Peter “blessed” (to become what God intends) because Peter could only know this truth and speak it by God’s gracious working;
- Jesus calls Peter “Simon, Son of Jonah,” which calls up memories of the prophet Jonah and ways in which Peter is or isn’t like him;
- Though Peter’s name means “rock,” (petros), it is the plain saying of Peter (a confession or “homologia” = petra) that IS THE Rock that Jesus will build His church upon—which Hell cannot prevail against because truth and grace endure;
- Jesus continues by describing what it means to be the Son of God, the Anointed One. It means bearing all the burden of the law in order to redeem the whole world from its condemnation. Here is the foundation of a life that is storm-proof.