English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[Greek words for Peter and rock sound similar] I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
There are so many pictures of Jesus. And it's interesting the old, old Christian art (before the 5th century) the Vatican holds of Jesus is a man who looks very much like the Shroud of Turin. Rather a long face, long nose. An elegant face. And remembering Scripture, Psalm 13 and Mark 6:23, Jesus' eyes were filled with light, a beautiful soul light. Reports of Jesus' burial cloth and a facial shroud appear all over history, but not in any concrete fashion until about 1200 A.D.
3 D image of the Shroud. The Shroud had the unique ability to have such differences in depth, it allows 3D images to be mapped.
This cloth, the Manipello Image, is made of byssus, from sea shells and no alive today understands how it was made. Byssus cannot be dyed or painted upon.
And this is from the catacombs of Rome and predates the 4th century.
Regardless of what you think today about the art - my favorite image of Jesus is the one at the top of the page. Jesus choosing to be part of this life. Loving the people around him. Choosing beautiful Capernaum, on the shores of Galilee, to live. To Love.
How will we make this passage live for us today -
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Who do you say Jesus is - today? Do you really believe it. I spent my first two decades of life going to Church with the family, being in the Choir. Being in Youth Group. With one foot on the shore and one foot on the boat. Because I understood that God has very little to do with the details of every day life. And the more I spent time with people in the boat - fellows on the ship - fellowship. I realized something. The people of faith had something. Something I only glimpsed.
One very dark, cold Saturday October night I was with my youth group in Camp Crucis in Granbury, Texas. And the Episcopal Priest did something I found out later is frowned upon in Seminary Circles. He took us into the Church and he extinguished all the lights but the Candle of the Presence. Meaning the Communion wafers in the building have been blessed and made holy. There we were in candlelight and it was the only light within a mile. We were in the type of country where if you looked up, you would see an amazing number of stars.
In the candlelight, the Priest asked - " Who do you believe Jesus is? The great I Am? Take a moment and decide. Really decide."
It was the right time for me. I really wanted to know. I searched earnestly within for the answer. Light flooded my being. I knew. And the Holy Spirit began to live in me. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.