A city three or four miles east of Dan, near the eastern source of the Jordan; anciently called Paneas, now Banias, from an adjacent grotto dedicated to Pan, from which one of the sources of the Jordan flowed. It stood where the mountains south-west of Hermon join the plain above lake Huleh, on an elevated plateau surrounded by ravines and water-courses; and its walls were thick and strong. It was enlarged and embellished by Philip the tetrarch of Trachonitis, and called Caesarea in honor of Tiberius Caesar; and the name Philippi was added to distinguish it from Caesarea on the Mediterranean. Our Savior visited this place shortly before his transfiguration, Mt 16:13-28; Mr 8:27-38; Lu 9:18,27. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Titus here made the captive Jews fight and kill each other in gladiatorial shows. In the time of the crusades it underwent many changes, and is not a paltry village amid extensive ruins.
Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? And they answered, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. read more. He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros -- "a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra -- "a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven. Then He sternly and strictly charged and warned the disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised from death. Then Peter took Him aside to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You! But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men. Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [ cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory (majesty, splendor) of His Father with His angels, and then He will render account and reward every man in accordance with what he has done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in (into) His kingdom.
And Jesus went on with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, Who do people say that I am? And they answered [Him], John the Baptist; and others [say], Elijah; but others, one of the prophets. read more. And He asked them, But who do you yourselves say that I am? Peter replied to Him, You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). And He charged them sharply to tell no one about Him. And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must of necessity suffer many things and be tested and disapproved and rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and after three days rise again [ from death]. And He said this freely (frankly, plainly, and explicitly, making it unmistakable). And Peter took Him by the hand and led Him aside and then [facing Him] began to rebuke Him. But turning around [His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have a mind intent on promoting what God wills, but what pleases men [you are not on God's side, but that of men]. And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [ joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me]. For whoever wants to save his [ higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel's will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God]. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [ in the eternal kingdom of God]? For what can a man give as an exchange ( a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed] life [ in the eternal kingdom of God]? For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous (unfaithful) and [preeminently] sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory (splendor and majesty) of His Father with the holy angels.
Now it occurred that as Jesus was praying privately, the disciples were with Him, and He asked them, Who do men say that I am?