Visions of the Mystery of Christ
Matthew 16:16
And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

It was the end and aim of our Lord's life to reveal the mystery of himself to his disciples. But what is so strange and yet so significant is, that he made scarcely any direct declarations on the subject. He evidently wanted it to be the impression left by his presence, his words, and his works. Later on in his life we find more of what may, in a good sense, be called self-assertion. But in his earlier ministry he virtually answered all inquiries as he answered the two disciples sent from John Baptist: "Go and show again the things ye do see and hear." Let him make what he can of them, and of me by the help of them. The impressions of himself had been borne in daily, for long months, upon those disciples, and so they had gained visions of his mystery. What is that mystery?

I. IT IS HIS DIVINITY. Because the word "divinity" has been applied to created beings, many persons prefer to speak of the Deity of Christ. The opened vision of the disciples found God in a man; they discerned the "Divine-human being, man with God for the soul of his humanity." It is hardly in place to inquire what notions of incarnations of deity prevailed among pagan nations, because such notions could not have reached or influenced these simple disciples. It is to the point to inquire how the Old Testament records and associations would help them. There were "theophanies" of various forms, which must have been helpful and suggestive. St. John the apostle, in his Gospel, finely represents the process which had gone on in his own mind, by the help of which he had grasped the mystery of Christ's Deity. It was the humanity that did it. John gives a series of narratives, and one after another they make on the reader a twofold impression.

1. He says - How manifestly Jesus was a real brother-Man!

2. But then he says - How manifestly Jesus was more than man, a Divine Man! No true notion of Christ's Divinity can ever be attained save in the disciples' way, by actual, constant, living contact with Christ's humanity. It is that extraordinary humanity which convinces of the Divinity.

II. IT IS HIS SONSHIP. A previous homily has dealt with this point. The impression on which we now dwell is that the Divinity of Christ is to be conceived as "equality with God," not subordination or creation. The contrast to son is servant. A servant is told the will; a son shares the will. A servant is at the footstool; the son is on the throne. "I and my Father are one." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

WEB: Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Whom Do Men Say that I Am?
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