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This topic is collection lessons and ideas about the story of Jesus' question, "Who do people say that I am," and Peter's declaration that Jesus is the Messiah. In response, Jesus says, "Upon this rock I will build my church...."

found in Matthew 16 and Mark 8

Matthew 16:13-20

Peter Says Jesus Is the Christ
13 Jesus came into the country of Caesarea Philippi. He asked His followers, “Who do people say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 They said, “Some say You are John the Baptist and some say Elijah and others say Jeremiah or one of the early preachers.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of Jonah, you are happy because you did not learn this from man. My Father in heaven has shown you this.

18 “And I tell you that you are Peter. On this rock I will build My church. The powers of hell will not be able to have power over My church. 19 I will give you the keys of the holy nation of heaven. Whatever you do not allow on earth will not have been allowed in heaven. Whatever you allow on earth will have been allowed in heaven.” 20 Then with strong words He told His followers to tell no one that He was the Christ.

Mark 8:27-30

Peter Says Jesus Is the Christ
27 Jesus and His followers went from there to the towns of Caesarea Philippi. As they went, He asked His followers, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They answered, “Some say John the Baptist and some say Elijah and others say one of the early preachers.” 29 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ.” 30 He told them with strong words that they should tell no one about Him.


This "secondary" story in the Gospels isn't typically included in Rotation-style Sunday School curriculums simply because most Rotation programs only cover 8 to 12 stories per year. That means some "second and third tier" stories get left out of the scope and sequence so that the "major" stories are covered in-depth. It's a good example of "less is more" in Rotation thinking, because by trying to cover every good story, the kids end up not remembering most of them.  Which stories get left out is up to you. You can see recommended lists here.

You're welcome to post your resources here for this story!

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Who do people say I am?

"The Passion," a live performance broadcast from New Orleans in 2016 on FOX, featured a terrific scene of Jesus and the disciples in a cafe where Peter declares Jesus the Messiah.

After the exchange, we then hear Tyler Perry explain what's going down (Perry produced the show.)

Then we see and hear Jesus (Jencarlos) and Peter (Prince Royce) perform the wildly popular "HOME" ...the song made famous in 2012 by Phil Phillips.  (Jencarlos and Royce are Latin stars.)

Illustration for Peter declares Jesus "Messiah" from the Annie Vallotton Bible Illustrations Collection

Jesus-Son-Man-Elijah-Matthew16-Vallotton Jesus asked his disciples,  “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” The disciples answered, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah or Jeremiah or some other prophet.” Jesus asked another question, “What about you? Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16)

  Link to larger and higher resolution versions of the Vallotton illustrations and color background options as well that are in our Vallotton Bible Images Forum (Supporting Membership required, become one today). Copyright and usage information here.


Images (1)
  • Jesus-Son-Man-Elijah-Matthew16-Vallotton

The stories of Peter's declaration to Jesus is one of the terrific presentations found in the SunScool Bible App for Kids.

It is found in the PETER section of the app's menu in the following levels:

  • Who is Jesus (L1, 2, 3)
    Matthew 16:13-28; Ephesians 2:18-22
  • Peter. His confession about Jesus (L4)
    Matthew 16:13-28; Ephesians 2:18-22

The App is free, ecumenical, and can be downloaded for use on tablets, smartphones, Windows, and Mac!    Get the download link and look up the story you need in our Outline of all 170+ stories in SunScool. That page also includes app helps.

SunScool Bible App for Kids

Here's a good video from Caesarea Philippi which gives context to Matthew 16:13-20.

Caesarea Philippi was the location of a large temple where people worshipped "Pan" who was believed to be the god of nature. They would make sacrifices in hopes of a good crop yield, healthy animals, and prosperity. This video questions why—considering all the idol worship happening in this city—would Jesus bring his disciples there. It was an impressive backdrop for an important lesson taught by Jesus.

A representative of reformatted this post to add context.

Last edited by CreativeCarol

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