The Gospel of Matthew is attributed to Matthew, one of the 12 apostles, also known as Levi the tax collector (Matt. 9:9-13). The Gospel was written in Greek and seemed to target a primarily Jewish audience. Matthew references the Old Testament more than any other New Testament author. His goal is to prove to the Jews that Jesus is their awaited Messiah. This week, we will study Matthew 16:13-20.
- Do some research to learn about Caesarea Philippi. What can you find out about its location and history?
- Why would Jesus take His disciples to this place to have this conversation with them?
- What did Jesus mean by “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church?” What is the “rock” here? Is it Peter (see also Eph. 2:20), or something else? Read this passage in other translations, and try to determine what Jesus is saying here.
- What is the “church” in this passage? What would it have meant to Jesus’ disciples?
- What are “the gates of Hades?”
- What are “the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven” and what did Jesus mean by this?
- Binding and Loosing – What does this mean?
The So What?
Based on what you have researched so far, what difference would this have made to the disciples? Think of the overall significance of Jesus’ words and their impact on His disciples and their testimony.
The Now What?
Who do you say Jesus is? How can you apply this passage in your own life today?