Ekklesia

Who Do You Say That I Am?

13 February 2024

4.7 MINS

When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples this question: “What are the people saying about Me, the Son of Man? Who do they believe that I am?”

They answered, “Some are convinced that you are John the Baptiser, reincarnated, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 

“But you — who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked. 

Simon Peter spoke up and said, “You are the Anointed One, the Son of the living God!” 

Jesus replied, “You are favoured and privileged, Simeon, son of Jonah! For you didn’t discover this on your own, but my Father in Heaven has supernaturally revealed it to you.  

I give you the name Peter, stone. And this rock will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build My church, My legislative assembly, and the power of death (the gates of hell) will not be able to overpower it!”

~ Matthew 16:13-18 (TPT)

What isn’t immediately noticed is that Jesus and His disciples actually went out of their way to go to Caesarea Philippi. Approximately 30 miles out of their way! But it was obviously a very important diversion. 

Caesarea Philippi was a pagan Roman stronghold, known as the ‘Gates of Hades’ because of all the worship of Pan, idolatry, debauchery and darkness. It was most likely Jesus’ visual description to His disciples of just how bad the state of the world was in their time. It didn’t get much worse than what went on in Caesarea Philippi. In fact, it would make our modern-day Hollywood, Davos, and some cities in the world look like something out of Home Beautiful. 

But here, He asked the question of His disciples, and Simon, bless him, came out with the revelation that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God. 

I pause and think about this; perhaps there was deathly silence when Jesus asked this question, a lot of shuffling of feet, folding arms and looking at one another as if to say, well, what are you going to do? I don’t think anyone would have wanted to be the first to answer.

Authority

We are all asked at some point, “Who do you say that I am?” It must be a personal reality in our lives. You see, nobody can answer that question for us. 

I’d like to recommend the book by Dean Briggs, Ekklesia Rising, and would encourage you to take a read. How much we have missed from the original meaning of this text! 

Jesus said, “You are favoured and privileged, Simeon, son of Jonah, for you didn’t discover this on your own, but my Father in heaven has supernaturally revealed it to you*. I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this rock will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build My church, My legislative assembly.” *(Ekklesia)

Some denominations say that Peter was the Rock Jesus was referring to, but this is not the case. In context, the rock is not Peter but the revelation he received from the Father that Jesus is the Christ. Upon this principle, this truth, Jesus being the son of God was the rock upon which the church would be built. 

But what happens when we take it a step further in research to discover that verse 18 does not truly interpret correctly the words of Jesus?

The Greek word for church is Ekklesia, meaning legislative assembly or selected ones. This is not a religious term at all common, but a political and governmental term that is used many times in classical Greek for a group of people who have been summoned and gathered together to govern the affairs of a city. For Jesus to use this term means He is giving the keys of governmental authority in His Kingdom to the church! 

When we delve into the history and writing of the King James version of the Bible, it’s revealed that the word Ekklesia was highly unpopular and discounted from use by King James himself. He believed it was an affront to his kingship. Thus, in an early form of censorship, it was changed to the word Kirk.

It’s not a poor translation, but a mistranslation of the original language, according to Dean Briggs. “There is no way around it: the Greek word Ekklesia means something more and different than the English word church; the gap is meaningful and real.” 

There are many Christians who believe that we should just quietly pray about the state of our countries, and the culture war taking place everywhere we look. 

There are those who think keeping quiet will somehow stem the tide of evil coming at them; keep our heads below the parapet so we don’t draw enemy fire.

BUT, should we consider Jesus’s words in the light of this revelation I just explained? Then can we look at Luke 10:17-24 (TPT) and experience a light-bulb moment, and understand our authority to pray in a new depth? 

Dean Briggs calls this a ‘prayerdigm shift’ 

The Seventy Return

When the 70 missionaries returned to Jesus, they were ecstatic with joy, telling Him, “Even the demons obeyed us when we commanded them in Your name!” 

Jesus replied, “While you were ministering, I watched Satan topple until he fell suddenly from heaven like lightning to the ground. Now you understand that I have imparted you My authority to trample over his Kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power Satan possessed.

Absolutely nothing will harm you as you walk in this authority. However, your real source of joy isn’t merely that these spirits submit to your authority, but that your names are written in the journals of Heaven and that you belong to God’s Kingdom. This is your true source of your authority.” 

Then Jesus, overflowing with the Holy Spirit’s joy, exclaimed, “Father, thank You, for You are Lord supreme over heaven and earth! You have hidden the great revelation of this authority from those who are proud, those wise in their own eyes, and You have shared with these who have humbled themselves. Yes, Father. This is what pleases Your heart: to give these things to those who are like trusting children. 

“Father, you have entrusted me with all that you have. No one fully knows the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows the Father except the Son. But the son is able to reveal the Father to anyone He chooses.” 

When Jesus was alone with the twelve, He said to them, “You are privileged to see and hear all these things. Many kings and prophets of old longed to see these days of miracles that you’ve been favoured to see. They would have given everything to hear the revelation you’ve been favoured to hear. They didn’t get to see or even hear a whisper.” 

Perhaps you would like an Old Testament scripture for cross-reference.  

For unto us a child is born… and the GOVERNMENT will be upon His shoulder… of the greatness of His Government and peace there will be no end… ~ Isaiah 9:6-7 (Amp)

I started off this article asking us the question: “Who do you say that I am?” 

Now it’s time to ask another question: “Who does HE say that WE are?” 

The obvious follow up to the latter is, are we, His Ekklesia, aware of the answer and are we walking in this calling and authority? 

Selah. 

___

Photo by Ylanite Koppens.

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7 Comments

  1. Sue 13 February 2024 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Thanks Leonie…how do I get the book by Dean Briggs?

    • Leonie Robson 13 February 2024 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Sue, it’s available on Amazon Australia, and they actually print them as they are ordered.
      I think it will really open many people’s eyes.
      blessings 💞

  2. Elaine Ham 13 February 2024 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Thank you Leonie that certainly brings greater depth to that question and the reply . I have never quiet understood our authority in prayer , but you have made it obvious , it is not us but the authority ( Government of Jesus ) speaking through us by the Holy Spirit . Oh the joy of seeing the depth of God’s truth as we walk before Him among the living , God Bless you.

    • Leonie Robson 13 February 2024 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      Praying that many people will grasp the concept and truth of Jesus’ words.
      Blessings Elaine 💖

  3. Leonie Robson 13 February 2024 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Praying that many people will grasp the concept and truth of Jesus’ words.
    Blessings Elaine 💖

  4. Kim Beazley 14 February 2024 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks for shining a light on that little known fact about Caesarea Philippi being “the Gates of Hades”. I seem to recall an article here some time ago with a photo of the actual cave near there which was known as “the Gates of Hades”.

    And in relation to Jesus sending out the 70, I, too, once had a lightbulb moment in relation to that. Think of it as Jesus commissioning them, in the same way that He previously commissioned the twelve disciples, and then after His resurrection gave the “Great Commission” to the ekklesia to go into all the world and do the same as those two groups before: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy, cast out demons”.

    • Leonie Robson 15 February 2024 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Thankyou brother ❤️
      Ekklesia Rising is certainly a page turner. I found myself reading a chapter, then going over it again.
      So much has been lost in translation.

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