Jesus asked His disciples: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Matthew 16:14. It became apparent that people did not know who He was. This is usually still the case.
Jesus then asked His disciples: “‘But who do you say that I am?’
Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’
Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’” Matthew 16:16-17.
A man of flesh and blood
Jesus was a normal man of flesh and blood, born of the seed of David. (Romans 1:3) He was an unremarkable and unattractive man. (Isaiah 53:2) His own disciples didn’t even understand who He was. They had not yet understood that Jesus had borne His cross daily for 30 years and had overcome all sin to which He was tempted. (Acts 3:21; Hebrews 4:15)
God could reveal Himself unconditionally through Jesus during this time. Long before His death on Calvary became a reality, another, hidden death was present in Jesus’ body so that God’s word became flesh and dwelt among them. (Luke 9:23; John 1:14) “God with us” became true in its most literal sense.
Peter received revelation from heaven although it was still hidden for the others. He understood that this man was the Son of the living God—Christ—the promised Messiah. Jesus called Peter “blessed” after his revelation. Everyone to whom Jesus is revealed becomes incredibly happy.
Revelation about Jesus
Peter was uneducated. He was not one of the scribes. (Acts 4:13) This is very different than the Apostle Paul’s beginning. But Paul later said that he received the gospel of God because it pleased God to reveal His Son in him and he writes further that he “did not immediately confer with flesh and blood.” Galatians 1:16. It makes no difference whether a person is educated or uneducated. Without revelation from our heavenly Father, Jesus will remain unknown to us, even though we have grown up in a Christian home and have knowledge about Jesus’ death on Calvary.
Why doesn’t everyone receive revelation about Jesus, and why are there so many varied and incorrect opinions regarding Him? Who receives revelation from God in heaven? One of Jesus’ disciples once asked, “‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” John 14:22-23.
Jesus does not reveal Himself to the world, even if people call themselves “religious” and sing about Jesus. Those who do their utmost to keep Jesus’ commandments out of a love for Jesus are those who really love Him, and they do not belong to the world. This is believing the Scriptures as they are written. Then we can flee from the world and the power of the prince of this world, and we begin a new development that leads us to “the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” Ephesians 4:13.