Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi andhe asked his disciples,“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply,“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply,“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter,and upon this rock I will build my church,and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciplesto tell no one that he was the Christ.It starts out with the most basic of theological questions: Who is Jesus? That question dominated so many church councils for centuries. Jesus does not tell us here how to answer that question. Rather He focused on who should answer that question.
First Jesus asks what people are saying. What opinions of Jesus are out there? Everyone has a theory. Some make more sense than other. Yet they are all wrong.
Then Jesus addresses the question to the disciples. Who do you say that I am? Peter is the only one who speaks. You are the Christ. The Son of the living God. He get is right. Yet how does he get it right? Jesus specifically said God gave Peter that knowledge supernaturally. Peter did not figure it out on his own or with the help of any other person.
Why is that important? Jesus is teaching us how the new covenant is going to work. We can't trust what the crowds say but we can trust what Peter says. How do we know this? He says, "on this rock I will build my church." Note the future tense. He is not talking about the present question. He is talking about what will happen in the future. This is how the church is supposed to work.