17. SIMON BECOMES A ROCK (Matt.16:13-23)

BACKGROUND: The title of "Christ" in the New Testament means the same as "Messiah" in the Old, i.e. the anointed one. Kings and high priests were anointed with oil when assuming their positions.
  1. In the light of this passage, what do you think of the old adage: "Everyone will be saved by his own faith" (vs.13-17)?
    • Why is the correct confession of faith so important in Christianity?
  2. Which of these is easiest for you to believe: that Jesus was the prophet Elijah (who died 800 years earlier) or the prophet Jeremiah (who died 600 years earlier) or John the Baptist (who had been killed a couple of years ago) or that he was Christ, the Son of the living God (verses 14-16)?
    • In your opinion, can people who answer to Jesus' question as those in verse 14 be called Christians? Give your reasons.
  3. In spite of all the miracles Jesus performed, why didn't most of his contemporaries realize that he was the Messiah, who had been prophesied in the Old Testament?
  4. According to this passage, how do we come to the true faith (vs.17)?
  5. How would you feel if someone called you "a rock"?
    • How do you think Peter felt when being called "a rock" by Jesus?
    • Some people think that by "the rock" Jesus meant Peter as an individual. Others think that Jesus meant Peter's confession in verse 16. What do you think?
  6. What do you think is the meaning of verse 19? (What are the keys of the kingdom of heaven? Who has them in our day?)
  7. Why couldn't Peter believe that anything like the things in verse 21 would happen to Jesus?
    • Compare verses 17 and 23. From which sources do Peter's words come?
    • What was wrong with Peter's faith even after his confession?
  8. How can Jesus call the same person "a rock" and "Satan"?
    • What proves that Peter was not possessed by a demon at this time?
    • What did Satan try to accomplish through Peter?
    • In what situations may even Christians do Satan's work in the lives of those they love?
  9. What is the difference between the two ways of thinking mentioned in verse 23?
    • Which way of thinking is more common inside the Christian church?
    • How does Jesus treat a person who has been doing Satan's work in the lives of other people?

GLAD TIDINGS: Read verse 21 adding the words: "because of Peter's sins - and mine".

2012 Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com