What does Matthew 16:17 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: Jesus replied, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
NASB: And Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
CSB: Jesus responded, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven.
NLT: Jesus replied, 'You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
KJV: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Verse Commentary:
This is an enthusiastic response to Peter's answer from the prior verse (Matthew 16:13–16). Christ asked the disciples who they say that He is. Peter responded simply and profoundly, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Peter's answer showed that he understood Jesus to be both the promised Messiah and to be divine. This is exactly what men like Peter should have thought, and Jesus praises him for that confession.

Peter has been labeled "blessed" for understanding and believing this to be true. Jesus uses the equivalent of Peter's family name, Simon Bar-Jonah, which would literally mean "Simon, son of Jonah." Making specific reference to Peter's father emphasizes the point Jesus immediately makes about that knowledge. It did not come from Peter's earthly father. He also did not come to this conclusion about Jesus out of his own cleverness or careful study.

Rather, Peter's conviction that Jesus is the Christ was given by Jesus' Father in heaven. God revealed to Peter and the other disciples that Jesus was His Son. God still participates in revealing the truth about Jesus to those who believe in Him (John 6:44; 16:7–11).
Verse Context:
Matthew 16:13–20 describes a conversation between Jesus and the disciples about His identity. It takes place about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee in the district of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asks who the people say He is and then asks who the disciples say He is. Peter says Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus says this declaration of faith will be the rock on which He will build His church.
Chapter Summary:
A group of Pharisees and Sadducees demand a miracle from Jesus, though He has already performed many. Jesus refuses and warns the disciples to beware of the teachings of these religious leaders. Jesus asks the disciples who the people say He is, as well as their own opinion. Peter says Jesus is the Christ, and is commended for that statement. Jesus begins to reveal that He must suffer and be killed before being raised on the third day. Peter's attempt to scold Jesus results in a devastating rebuke. Jesus then says all who would follow Him must take up crosses of self-denial.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 16 finds Jesus returned from the Gentile regions, only to be immediately confronted by another group of Jewish religious leaders. Yet again, these men prove they are insincere: no amount of evidence will ever be enough for them. After a dramatic discussion about Jesus' role as Messiah, Jesus indicates that those who would come after Him must take up their crosses and follow Him. His references to some seeing the Son of Man coming in His kingdom will be fulfilled at the beginning of chapter 17, in an event known as the transfiguration.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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