After Jesus had asked his disciples “Who do the people say that the Son of man is?” (Matthew’s gospel chapter 16: verse 13) and they had responded, He then asked them “But who do [yourselves]you say that I am?” (v.15). Peter replies in verse 16 “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus responds “Blessed –happy, fortunate and to be envied- are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [Petros, masculine, a large piece of rock], and on this rock [petra, feminine, a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it – or be strong to its detriment, or hold out against it.” (Matt 16: 17,18 The Amplified Bible.”
Only Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that God, together with Jesus and the Holy Spirit comprise the trinity – God in three forms in complete, distinct and mysterious unity.
We read in the gospels that “God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only-begotten (unique) Son, sot that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him- may not perish, but have eternal life and [actually] live forever! (John 3:16 Amplified Bible)
and “ Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) me.” (John 14:6).
This is the gospel message – that God sent Jesus into this world to honour His heavenly Father and teach us His ways, and to make a way for fallen humanity to be reconciled from our sinful state back into relationship with our Father. Following His death and resurrection and ascension into heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us in this world, to indwell the lives of Christians. There is so much work done by the Holy Spirit, from drawing us to faith in Christ, to revealing scripture which might otherwise be just another book to peruse, to guiding us with wisdom.
As we see in the verses of Matthew 16, it is a great blessing to believe in Jesus Christ. His message is one of love, peace and joy. Belonging to Christ is to know His empowering and strength in daily life and the surety of life with Him eternally. How unimaginably beautiful that will be! It is not just to have seen a photograph of someone, or to know of that person. It’s not just to know that person. More than that, it’s to become adopted into His family- to know a relationship with Him that surpasses even the best of earthly ones. It’s this personal, intimate relationship with our loving Father through the atonement for our sins of His Son which makes Christianity unique among religions.
I say with Peter that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.