On the way to Caeseria Philippi, Jesus posed two questions to his disciples. First, who did men say that he was? They responded that people thought he was either John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets. It is curious that no one out of the people considered him the Messiah. Jesus did not fit their mold of the Messiah. On the other hand, when Jesus posed the same question to the disciples, they responded immediately that he was the Messiah. The people and the disciples had all received the same teaching from Jesus, followed the same Scriptures, observed the same miracles, yet they came to very different conclusions about Jesus. This had always been the disciples’ view of Jesus from the first time they met him. Philip testified to Nathanial that they had found the Messiah; Andrew gave the same testimony to Peter. In Matthew, Jesus had indicated to Peter that flesh and blood had not revealed this to him, but his Father in heaven. Curiously, Jesus commanded the disciples not to reveal his identity to the people.
The realization that Jesus is the Messiah, the Holy Son of God, cannot be ascertained through study or any human means, it must be revealed by the Spirit to an individual. Even though all the prophetic evidence confirms that Jesus is the Messiah people disregard it all and prefer to put Jesus in a different category of great teacher or great prophet, just like the people of Jesus’ day. Coming to know Jesus, is a matter of spiritual revelation, not a matter of human persuasion through reason, historical or biblical evidence. While the disciples were commanded not to declare Jesus’ identity at that time, later they were commissioned to reveal Jesus through proclamation. This they did as is recorded in the book of Acts and Jesus’ followers have done the same since that time. It is now through the proclamation of Jesus that the Holy Spirit reveals to individuals who Jesus is, while some who hear the same proclamation conclude Jesus was a great prophet and teacher.