Sunday, April 29, 2018


Luke 9:46-50

Luke 9:46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

Susie: The disciples had this debate several times (Matthew 18:1, Mark 9:34, Luke 22:24). John and James, the sons of Zebedee even had their mother approach Jesus about their place in His kingdom:

Matthew 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

Susie: The disciples were still wondering who would be the greatest after the Lord’s last Passover meal with them, after He had washed their feet, and told them one of them would betray Him:

Luke 22:23-26 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

Luke 9:47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,

Susan: Jesus, being omniscient, knew they were esteeming themselves more highly than they should.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Susie: Jesus sees beyond our words and even our thoughts to our motivations and attitudes.

Susan: Mark highlights the fact that the child Jesus chose was small enough that Jesus could lift him into His arms.

Mark 9:36-37 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Susie: This would surely be a child under the age of twelve which would be considered too young to have significance or even to be taught the word of God.

Luke 9:48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

Susan: Jesus elevated the status of this child from insignificant to someone to be welcomed in His name. Jesus lifted children, women, and widows from their lowly status to being important in the Kingdom of God.

Susie: A man would have to humble himself to welcome a child, but Jesus says that the man who welcomes the child welcomes Him as well and also welcomes His Father. Jesus said that whoever was least, humblest, among them would be the greatest. Rather than vying for position and striving for recognition, the disciple of Jesus is to serve others without concern for status.

The IVP New Testament Commentary Series:

Greatness has only one mirror, the reflective eyes of God. He sees greatness in those who do not need to be great to have stature.

Susan: When one is genuinely humble, he can be sure that in God’s time, He will promote him.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Luke 9:49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.

Susie: John seems to be changing the subject entirely, but the link may be “things done in Jesus’s name.”

Susan: The disciples had seen someone who was not part of their immediate group performing exorcisms and told him to stop. But they were not defining the group correctly because anyone authentically trusting in the name of Jesus was a disciple, a follower of Jesus.

Luke 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

Susie: Jesus told John to hold his horses! The disciples should not prevent others from ministering in His name because as long as he was not working against Him, he was working for Him. One did not have to be a part of an elite ministerial team to serve the Lord.

Susan: Mark’s gospel underscores that if someone employed Jesus’s name to perform miracles, and God is using that man as an instrument, he would not turn around and speak ill of Jesus.

Susie: A person would not bad mouth the very name he called on for power.

Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Ponder this and Apply it: If we are honest, most of us would say we enjoy being praised. However, if our motivation in serving the Lord is to be recognized by other people or given the best leadership position, we are not in line with what Jesus taught. We need to place ourselves in the position of servant willingly with no thought of being praised. Rather than lifting up ourselves, we need to lift up the King of kings and His kingdom. Jesus lifts up the humble. Perform a quick self-check and examine your motives for the deeds you do. Pray asking the Lord to give you a humble heart to do His will whether or not any other person takes notice.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Luke 9:37-45
(Matthew 17:14-21 and Mark 9:17-29)

Luke 9:37 And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.

Susie: Mark’s gospel tells us that in addition to the disciples and the usual crowd that followed Jesus, there were scribes present, poking about and asking questions (Mark 9:14).

Susan: The scribes were secretaries, experts in the law, reporters, and spies all rolled into one. They would give an account of all they had heard and seen to the Pharisees and chief priests when they returned to Jerusalem.

Luke 9:38-39 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child. And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.

Susie: A man from the crowd addressed Jesus as “master” which is “didaskalŏs” in the Greek meaning “teacher.” It was a term of respect recognizing Jesus as a rabbi but not necessarily as Lord. He asked Jesus to take notice of his son who was his only child.

Susan: The man’s only child was possessed by a demon that tormented him all the time. The demon caused the boy to fall on the ground, writhing about as if in a seizure, and foaming at the mouth. It often left the boy badly bruised and almost lifeless.

Susie: Had this been merely a case of epilepsy, Dr. Luke would have said so. However, he attributed the behavior to demon possession.  

Luke 9:40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.

Susan: The boy’s father had brought him to Jesus’s disciples while Jesus, Peter, James, and John were up on the mountain. Jesus had given His disciples authority and power to cast out demons earlier when He had sent them out. However, they could not cast this particular demon out of the boy.

Luke 9:41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

Susie: The question here is, “Who is Jesus calling faithless and perverse?”

Susan: He could be addressing the crowd as a whole, the scribes and unbelieving Jews, or even His own disciples. Or it could be all of the above. Suffice it say, one would not want to be one of those Jesus was lecturing.

Susie: I believe Jesus used the word “faithless,” because they did not have enough trust to believe the demon could be cast out and “perverse” because they chose not to believe in Him as the Son of God.

Susan: Perhaps their faith was in faith rather than the person of Jesus.

Susie: Perhaps their trust was in their own power, rather than relying on the Lord’s power.

Susan: The disciples may have been relying on the gifts instead of the Giver of gifts.

Susie: Then, Jesus turned to the father and told him to bring his son to Him.

Luke 9:42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.

Susan: The demon gave Jesus an on the spot demonstration of his power over the boy. However, Jesus trumped the demon’s miniscule show of power by employing His own power to cast the demon out. Jesus delivered the boy completely whole back to his father’s care.

Luke 9:43a And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God.

Susie: Luke does not give details of the method Jesus used to cast the demon out, but the crowd observing the miracle had no doubt that the power of God was responsible for making the boy whole and demon-free. Jesus consistently gave all glory to God rather than Himself even though He was the Son of God.

Luke 9:43b-44 But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

Susie: Jesus turned His attention away from the crowd and back to His own disciples. I like the way the Complete Jewish Bible translates verse 44:

Luke 9:44 (CJB) “Listen very carefully to what I’m going to say. The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”

Susan: Jesus told the disciples to pay attention to His words. Using the Messianic euphemism “Son of Man,” Jesus explained that He was going to be handed over to those who persecuted and opposed Him.

Susie: Jesus used the word “betrayed,” which would imply that someone would be a traitor to Him. However, the disciples did not pick up on this.

Luke 9:45 But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

Susan: God sovereignly hides or reveals truths to our intellects and spirits.

Susie: At this moment in time, God hid the full meaning of Jesus’s words from the disciples. Later, the Holy Spirit would enable them to look back and piece all these things together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Susan: The disciples were aware enough to know that Jesus’s words had gone swoosh right over their heads but were too embarrassed to ask for clarification.

Ponder this and Apply it: Luke does not get into the disciples asking why they were unable to cast out the demon. For that discussion, see the gospels of Matthew and Mark. However, the way Jesus addressed the people calling them “faithless” is a hint. As Susan said, our faith cannot be in faith. Our faith must be placed in the One who is able to deliver us. Our complete trust in Jesus is what empowers us to combat Satan and his demons. When the Holy Spirit indwells us, we cannot be possessed by a demon. However, Satan can still use his influence around us to hinder our efforts to serve the Lord. Jesus focused on the “joy set before Him” in order to endure the agony of the cross, and we are to “fix our eyes” on Jesus, placing our total trust in Him.

Hebrews 12:2 (NASB) . . . fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Luke 9:28-36
(see also Matthew 17:1-9 and Mark 9:2-10)

Luke 9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

Susie: Matthew and Mark each say it was six days after Jesus had said, “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:27). Luke says it was about eight days. He may have been including the day of the statement and the day of the Transfiguration, whereas, Matthew and Mark may have only counted the days in between.

Susan: Jesus stole away from the crowds, taking with Him only Peter, James, and John. He desired to seek the Father in a quiet place. Therefore, He took them up on a mountain.

Luke 9:29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening.

Susan: As Jesus connected with His Father, His appearance became altogether otherworldly. His clothing radiated with the brilliance of jewels . . .

Susie: . . . or the flash of lightening. I’m picturing a glowing gemstone aurora borealis.

Luke 9:30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:

Susie: Jesus, of course, knew who these men were; but there is no record of Him introducing them to Peter, James, and John. How did they recognize these great forefathers of Judaism? Name badges?

Susan: It’s not like the disciples had grown up seeing photos or even paintings of Moses or Elijah hanging in the synagogue or in their homes. Therefore, I believe the Holy Spirit must have revealed their identities to the disciples.

Luke 9:31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

Luke 9:31a (CJB) They appeared in glorious splendor and spoke of his exodus . . .

Susan: Moses and Elijah were encompassed in glory as well. Moses represented the Law and Elijah, the prophets, both of which prophesied about the death of the Messiah which is what they were discussing with Jesus.

Susie: Various translations say Jesus, Moses, and Elijah spoke of His “decease”, “departure,” or “exodus.” An exodus is a departure from one place to go to another. Moses led the Israelites in an exodus from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.

Susan: Jesus is the leader of the exodus from earth into eternity, the permanent Promised Land.

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Susie: The word “accomplish” in Luke 9:29 always puzzled me until I saw the translation that used “exodus” instead of “decease.”  Our eventual departure or exodus to Heaven is the “accomplishment” of Jesus’s death and resurrection.

Susan: Our salvation and eventual resurrection is the fruit of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and His being raised from the dead.

Susie: We are told what they talked about but not the specifics of the discussion. I wonder why God sent Moses and Elijah to be with Jesus during His prayer time? Perhaps it was to encourage Him or for the benefit of the three disciples with Him there on the mountain.

Luke 9:32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

Susie: Neither Matthew nor Mark mention the fact that the disciples fell asleep while Jesus was praying.

Susan: It must have been a shock for the disciples to be aroused out of a dead sleep by the intense light of the Shekinah glory of God and to feel the power emanating from Jesus and His two companions.

Susie: As the drowsiness wore off, they came to the realization that they were in the presence of two great prophets of God.

Susan: James and John probably could not find words to express the awe they felt. But then there’s Peter . . .

Luke 9:33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.

Susan: Peter always seemed to have something to say, but whether or not it was the right thing to say is another question.

Susie: In this case, Peter was so excited to be in the presence of these revered prophets, that he proposed the idea of building shelters or monuments to them and staying right there on the mountain with them. The Bible records that he really did not realize what he was saying.

Susan: I think Peter often had the problem of opening his mouth before fully engaging his brain. His brash confidence changed to humility after he denied the Lord on the night of His arrest and was fully restored by the Lord after the resurrection. (Stay tuned for more on Peter in the weeks to come.)

Luke 9:34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

Susie: Matthew 17:5 describes the cloud as “bright.”

Susan: The disciples quaked with fear as they encountered the glory and power of the Almighty God.

Luke 9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Susan: Matthew records the Father expressing His pleasure with His Son:

Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Susan: “Hear him,” involves more than the organ of the ear working properly. God was instructing them to listen with the intention of complete, immediate obedience.

Susie: Peter recalled this event in his second letter:

2 Peter 1:16-18 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

Susie: Peter pointed out that, as Jesus had predicted in Luke 9:27, Peter, James, and John were allowed to see Him in all His majesty as King before their deaths. 

Luke 9:36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

Susie: Both Matthew and Mark point out that Jesus instructed the disciples not to tell anyone, and Luke informs us that they obeyed this command, following His instructions to the letter.

Matthew 17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

Mark 9:9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

Ponder this and Apply it: Sometimes when we experience a fantastic time of worship or a miraculous answer to prayer, we, like Peter, would like to pitch our tents there and stay indefinitely. However, Jesus has called us to go down off that mountaintop to minister in the valleys below. Praise the Lord for the exciting times of complete joy. Treasure them as precious jewels. Use those times of refreshing and the memory of the blessings as fuel for days of uncomfortable service.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Luke 9:23-27
(See also Matthew 16:24-28)

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Susan: “Deny” here is to utterly deny oneself, to give the right to oneself. It is to separate from one’s own desire and will and submit completely to the will of God. When I think of denying oneself, I think of two examples in the Bible. Of course, the primary example is of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane praying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39b). Then there is Mary who upon being told that she was to bear a baby by the Holy Spirit while still a virgin, said to the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). To take this concept to a more personal level, when within the confines of my cerebral-palsied earth-suit, I have to choose to be obedient to thank the Lord in, for, and though the pain and to trust Him in the midst of it, it is a denial of my natural desire to complain.

Susie: To the disciples, the cross was a symbol of an excruciating, demeaning death. To take up the cross was to be willing to follow Jesus even to the death. In addition to denying one’s own desires in favor of God’s will, a person must be willing to live sacrificially in the service of the Lord.

Susan: In the past, the word “daily” has flown right by me. To take up one’s cross is not a one-time event. Each day, even moment by moment, I must choose God’s plan rather than my own no matter how dire the resulting consequences.

Susie: God may not call me to be literally a martyr, giving my life because of my love of Jesus. However, He calls me to DAILY be willing to lay down everything I am and everything I have for His glory and His purposes.

Susan: We must lay every personal dream, choice, or plan at the foot of His cross. God’s dream for me is greater, more fantastic, more splendid than any desire we have. When God called me to ministry, I tried to tell Him that He had the wrong person—a woman, in a wheelchair, with CP—but now I can’t think of doing anything else with more passion, zeal, joy, and fulfillment than preaching the Good News.

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us . . .

Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

MacArthur Study Bible note on Luke 9:24:

Aside from the command “follow Me,” this saying is repeated more times in the gospels than any other saying of Christ. Luke 17:33; Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; John 12:25.

Susan: We must die to personal ambition in order to live for Kingdom purposes and the glory of the Eternal One.

Susie: To follow Jesus while He walked on earth would have been a difficult choice for a Jewish person. Since the religious leaders had completely rejected Jesus, to follow Him would result in a complete loss of status. Life as the person had known it would be over. However, to lose their life in the Jewish community would be to gain deliverance from sin and eternal life with God.

Susan: There are still people today who are tortured or killed because of their trust in Jesus, especially in countries of the 10-40 window:
Susie: Even in our “Christian” nation, people who convert to Christianity may be faced with loss of social standing, difficulties in the workplace, or even resistance in their own home. We must be willing to have our lives drastically altered here while remembering the hope we have for eternity.

Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Susan: Many people spend all their energy and vitality on things that are temporary, fleeting, rather than giving themselves to the One who created the earth, its people, and everything. By rejecting Jesus and focusing only on everything temporal, a person is choosing a forever home in Hell.

Susie: We tend to forget that our time here on earth is temporary, that this life as we now know it is like steam that evaporates after a few moments:

James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Susie: How we respond to Jesus during our short lives here determines where we will reside forever—in eternal peace with the Lord Jesus or in eternal punishment with Satan. There is no advantage in having all the treasure, fame and power of this world if it leads to eternal toment.
Susan: There is no benefit to having all your treasure here:

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Susie:  However, this does not mean that a Christian should not have wealth. The importance is in the attitude that person has. We must remember that all we own here actually belongs to God, and we are just stewards (managers) of His wealth for His glory.

Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

Susie: We have explained the term “Son of Man” in an earlier lesson, but for those who may have just joined us: Whenever Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” He was quoting the Old Testament prophet Daniel (Daniel 7:13) and clearly claiming to be the Messiah as this was widely accepted as a Messianic prophecy. Let’s look at some similar statements in cross references:

Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 12:9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Susie: Being “ashamed” or denying Christ in this context is not a temporary denial like that of Peter when Jesus was arrested. It is a complete rejection of Him as the Son of God, never acknowledging His Lordship and deity until it is too late. If a person never trusts in and confesses Christ (publicly declaring Him as Lord), Jesus will say to that person:

Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. ( Matthew 25:41)

Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

Susan: At first glance, one could say, “What?!” and scratch their head because we know that all the apostles eventually died. However, it must be understood that Jesus was speaking of the three apostles who would have the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration which was a glimpse of Jesus in His glorified state not long after this statement was made.

MacArthur Study Bible note on Matthew 16:28: some standing. In all 3 of the synoptic gospels, this promise is made immediately prior to the Transfiguration (Mark 9:1–8; Luke 9:27–36). Furthermore, the word for “kingdom” can be translated “royal splendor.” Therefore, it seems most natural to interpret this promise as a reference to the Transfiguration, which “some” of the disciples—Peter, James, and John, would witness only 6 days later.

Ponder this and Apply it: If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, trusting Him for deliverance from sin and death, you are His disciple. Re-read verses 23 and 24. Perform a self-check and evaluate how well you are denying self and dying daily to your own desires in order to pursue the plans God has for you, His disciple, His child.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Luke 9:18-22
(see also Matthew 16:13-20)

Luke 9:18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

Susan: It was imperative to Jesus that He have intimate time with the Father, seeking His face and receiving instruction in the execution of the Father’s plan.

Susie: It is difficult for our finite minds to justify the fact that Jesus and the Father are One God, yet Jesus as the incarnate Son placed Himself in a subservient position to the Father. He modeled complete obedience to the will of God, an example we are to follow.

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Susan: Sometimes Jesus was completely alone with the Father, but others, as in this passage, He included His disciples in His prayer time to exemplify the importance of communing with the Father. The disciples comprised Jesus’s life group, as we would call it—a close group of friends praying together.

Susie: As Jesus taught the crowds of people and performed miracles, His disciples would be His ears among the crowds.

Susan: Therefore, Jesus asked the disciples, “What is the word on the street about me?”

Luke 9:19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.

Susie: The disciples answered that some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist, others the prophet Elijah (Elias) and still others one of the other ancient prophets. According to Matthew’s Gospel, they also specifically named Jeremiah.

Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Susan: The majority of those who followed Jesus’s ministry did not yet realize that He was the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God. They still thought of Him as only a great prophet.

Luke 9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

Susie: We must know that Jesus already was aware of the answers to these questions because even though He was fully man, He was still completely all-knowing God. However, for the benefit of the disciples, He asked them who He was in their opinion.

Susan: Peter, the most boisterous and vocal of the Twelve, spoke up and said, “You are the Christ (The Anointed One), the Son of the Living God.”

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Susie: Matthew had Peter specifically calling Jesus the Son of the LIVING God. People believed in various other gods, but all of them were immobile, impotent idols. He identified Jesus as the Son of the True God that the Jewish people worshipped.

Jeremiah 10:3-5 (NIV) For the practices of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.”

Jeremiah 10:11-13 (NIV) “Tell them this: ‘These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.’” But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

1 Chronicles 16:26 (NIV) For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

Luke 9:21-22 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

Susie: Although the Father had revealed to Peter and the other apostles that He was indeed the Messiah (Matthew 16:16), Jesus told them not to spread that specific news yet. The time had not yet come for His deity to be fully revealed to the masses.

Susan: Some people in the massive crowds would have wanted to divert Jesus from the cross, crown Him as King, and have Him lead a coup against the Romans. That time was not yet. During His incarnation, Jesus was to be the Suffering Servant prophesied in Isaiah 53. The time of His earthly rule is yet to come.

Susie: From this point on in His earthly ministry, Jesus began making His way to Jerusalem to face the cross and conquer death and the grave; and He began preparing the disciples by warning them in advance of all that must happen to Him. However, as we will see in the later chapters of Luke’s gospel they were still caught off guard when Jesus actually died.

Susan: Jesus pursued His purpose with relentless abandon. The victory He won over sin and death was not for Himself alone but for all who believe and entrust their lives to Him, the forever family He sacrificed Himself to redeem as had been promised Him by His Heavenly Father. 

Ponder this and Apply it: Who do you say that Jesus is? A great moral man? A prophet sent by God? Or the Son of God? C.S. Lewis pondered those questions in his book Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.

Who do you say Jesus is? If you are convinced that He truly is the Son of God, risen from the dead and sitting at the right hand of the Father, God has revealed that truth to you. Surrender your right to yourself and place your life in the hands of Jesus. If you have already committed yourself to the Lord, rejoice and praise Him right now!