Caesarea Philippi

“You have eyes—can’t you see?” Jesus’s question to His disciples revealed the purpose for the miracle that followed. When Jesus gave sight in stages to a blind man, the miracle represented the insight He was giving to the disciples in stages. The disciples had a correct understanding of Jesus, but their vision was a bit blurry.

So Jesus began to clear the fog by taking them north to Caesarea Philippi. There in the villages rife with idols, Jesus asked the disciples what the people thought of Him. The disciples said that the people saw Jesus as a prophet of old. “But how do you see me?” Jesus asked. Speaking for the group, Peter grasped Jesus’s person, “You are the Messiah!” but not His purpose—our redemption from the penalty of sin through His death and resurrection. And though the disciples had a correct view of Christ, they still saw Him through the fog of their own expectations. Appalled by the notion that the Messiah would die, Peter rebuked the Son of God. Imagine! Then when Jesus reproved Peter in return, He revealed that the reason Peter failed to fully know Him stemmed from Peter’s reluctance to place God’s interests above his own.

Just as the blind man saw in stages, and as the disciples understood in stages, so we have much to learn about the One whom we worship. A God who is infinite reveals Himself to the finite bit by bit. Even if you know Jesus well, He still has much to reveal to you about Himself.

Christ did not come to follow us and our interests but that we should follow Him and His.¹

  1. Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey through the Lands of the Bible (Ventura, Calif.: Regal, 2006). Used by permission.