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Who am I

Who am I

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Published by Schmicr
Examines Peter's Confession as a turning point in Matthew's Gospel.
Examines Peter's Confession as a turning point in Matthew's Gospel.

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Published by: Schmicr on Mar 15, 2008
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07/16/2010

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Michael SchellmanP.O. Box 7211 NT200 (Matthew)Jeannine Brown“Who am I?”Peter’s Confession as a Significant Turning Point in Matthew’s Narrative.
 
13
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,"Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14
They replied, "Some say John theBaptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
16
Simon Peter answered,
"You are the Christ,
 
the Son of the living God
."
17
Jesus replied,"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by
my Father in heaven.
(Matt 16:13-17 NIV)
 
Matthew presents Jesus ministry in two distinct stages, the proclamation of theKingdom to Israel
4:17-16:
20
, and the preparation of the disciples for his death
16:21-28:20
.These markers were borrowed from Kingsbury’s work,
1
but as you will see, myunderstanding of their significance differs. This paper will examine the narrative sectioncontained in
13:53-16:20
; which, I believe, functions as a climax and a turning point withinthe narrative. In this section, the author presents a
showcase of opinions
regarding Jesus’identity that reaches its height with Peter’s confession, "You are the Christ, the Son of theliving God." Immediately after Peter’s confession, the nature of Jesus’ ministry changesinciting events which will lead to Jesus death, burial, resurrection, and ultimately to theGreat Commission. We therefore, find ourselves forced by the narrative to conclude thatPeter’s confession is instrumental in the ultimate fulfillment of Jesus’ ministry; indeedthat the whole Easter scenario and the Great Commission of the Church could not havehappened without something like Peter’s confession. By this, I believe Matthew is tryingto highlight the kind of faith exhibited in the Petrian confession, as the basis upon whichRemnant-Israel is established, that is, faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Remnant-Israel inturn becomes the foundation of the Church. Only after establishing Remnant-Israel as thefoundation of the church
2
does Jesus’ ministry proceed.Much is made of the disciples and Peter’s shortcomings and continued failureseven after his confession. The significance of Peters confession should not be diminished because of these shortcomings. I am aware of these arguments; they will be answered inthe course of this paper.
1
Kingsbury,
Matthew As Story
p. 78
2
Matthew 16:18.

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