It all boils down to this, "But what about you?" Jesus asked. "Who do you say I am?" I say that because of this:
Breakdown Matthew 16:13-20 Matthew 16:13-20 is a passage from the Christian New Testament that includes the famous "confession of Peter" and Jesus' declaration of the foundation of the Church.
Here is a breakdown of the passage: Matthew 16:13 (NIV) 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" In this verse, Jesus and his disciples are in the region of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asks his disciples about the public's opinion of him, referring to himself as "the Son of Man," a title used throughout the Gospels to refer to Jesus as both human and divine.
Matthew 16:14 (NIV) 14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." The disciples respond with people's opinions about Jesus' identity, ranging from John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or another prophet. Again, this illustrates that people at the time needed to be fully aware of Jesus' true nature and mission.
Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV) 15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus then directly asks his disciples who they believe He is. One of the twelve apostles, Simon Peter, confesses his faith in Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah and the Son of the living God. This critical confession shows Peter's deep understanding and trust in Jesus.
Matthew 16:17 (NIV) 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood but by my Father in heaven. Jesus commends Peter for his confession, stating that it was not through human understanding but through divine revelation from God the Father that Peter could recognize Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Jesus then gives Simon the name "Peter," which means "rock" in Greek. Jesus declares that upon this rock, or foundation of faith that Peter has shown, He will build His Church. Jesus also asserts that the gates of Hades (representing the powers of evil and death) will not be able to defeat the Church. Matthew 16:19 (NIV)
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be released in heaven." Jesus entrusts Peter with the keys of the kingdom of heaven, symbolizing authority and leadership. The power to "bind" and "loose" refers to the authority given to Peter and, by extension, the Church to teach, guide, and make decisions on spiritual matters.
Matthew 16:20 (NIV) 20 Then, he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. After Peter's confession, Jesus instructs the disciples not to reveal his true identity as the Messiah to others. This command will likely prevent premature reactions from the public or authorities, allowing Jesus to complete his mission and teaching before facing the inevitable consequences.