Matthew 16

16 Jan

Continuing to go through the book of Matthew looking at one chapter a day and offering a thought, question, or quote. Today it is Matthew 16:

Matthew 16:15″But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

N.T. Wright in his commentary Matthew for Everyone explains the words Christ/Messiah like this:
The Hebrew word means literally “anointed one’, hence in theory either a prophet, priest or king. In Greek this translates as Christos; ‘Christ’ in early Christianity was a title, and only gradually became an alternative proper name for Jesus. In practice ‘Messiah’ is mostly restricted to the notion, which took various forms in ancient Judaism, of the coming king who would be David’s true heir, through whom YHWH (God) would rescue Israel from pagan enemies. There was no single template of expectations. Scriptural stories and promises contributed to different ideals and movements, often focused on (a) decisive military defeat of Israel’s enemies and (b) rebuilding or cleansing the Temple…The universal early Christian belief that Jesus was Messiah is only explicable, granted his crucifixion by the Romans (which would have been seen as a clear sign that he was not the Messiah) by their belief that God had raised him from the dead, so vindicating the implicit messianic claims of his earlier ministry.

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