“Naming” Jesus

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we concluded our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, by finally drawing near to the text from which the title of the series arises: Matthew 16:13-20. In this dramatic turning point in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asks His disciples a series of questions, including “Who do you say I Am?” Peter’s bold declaration of Jesus’ identity leads to an exchange between them. In a sense, Peter “names” Jesus, but in a deeper and more true way Jesus names Peter.

This message is part of the sixth part of our longer series on Matthew, which includes “Family Tree,” “Power in Preparation,” “Becoming Real,” “The Messiah’s Mission,” and “Stories of the Kingdom.”

You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 
‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’” (Matthew 16:13)

Jesus’ First Question (Matthew 16:13-14)

“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

Who Have People Said Jesus Is?

  • John the Baptist (Matthew 14:2)
  • Elijah (11:14)
  • Jeremiah or one of the prophets (12:41)

Jesus’ Second Question (Matthew 16:15)

“But what about you? Who do you say I am?”

How had the disciples previously named Jesus?:

  • Rabbi with authority to teach (4:18-22; 7:28; 13:10-17, 36)
  • Healer and miracle worker (8:14-15; 14:18-21, 25-27)
  • Enigma: “What kind of man is this?” (9:27)
  • Friend of Sinners (9:11-13)
  • Son of David (9:27)
  • Awesome one: “Truly you are the Son of God” (14:33)

Peter “Names” Jesus (Matthew 16:16)

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus is the Messiah

Jesus is the Son of the Living God

Jesus Names Peter (Matthew 16:17-20)

Jesus’ naming of Peter: “you are Peter”

An aside about Jesus’ command for silence on the matter

Encountering Jesus Today

Hearing Jesus ask us: “who do you say I am?”

“Naming” Jesus personallyHearing Jesus name us


Dig Deeper:

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize Matthew 16:15-16
  • Read through the Gospel of Matthew up to this point and note any way that Matthew records or describes titles of Jesus that would answer the question, “Who is Jesus?” Step back to reflect upon all the titles of Jesus given thus far in the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Take some time in stillness to reflect on Jesus’ question: But what about you? Who do you say I am?” How are you answering that right now? How might Peter’s answer or other titles of Christ in Scripture give shape to your answer?
  • Consider reading further on the titles of Jesus with John Stott’s The Incomparable Christ or Michael Scanlan’s Titles of Jesus.

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