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.
When Jesus had come to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They said, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." read more. He asked them, "But who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!" Then Jesus told him, "How blessed you are, Simon son of Jonah, since flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, though my Father in heaven has. I tell you that you are Peter, and it is on this rock that I will build my congregation, and the powers of hell will not conquer it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom from heaven. Whatever you prohibit on earth will have been prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will have been permitted in heaven." Then he strictly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he would have to go to Jerusalem and suffer a great deal because of the elders, the high priests, and the scribes. Then he would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God be merciful to you, Lord! This must never happen to you!" But Jesus turned and told Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, because you are not thinking God's thoughts but human thoughts!" Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continuously. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it, because what profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life? The Son of Man is going to come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to what he has done. I tell all of you with certainty, some people standing here will not experience death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
Then Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he was asking his disciples, "Who do people say I am?" They answered him, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets." read more. Then he began to ask them, "But who do you say I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah!" Jesus sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man would have to suffer a great deal and be rejected by the elders, the high priests, and the scribes. Then he would be killed, but after three days he would rise again. He was speaking about this matter quite openly. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind me, Satan, because you're not thinking God's thoughts, but human thoughts!" Then Jesus called the crowd to himself along with his disciples and told them, "If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continuously, because whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it. What profit will a person have if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Indeed, what can a person give in exchange for his life? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes with the holy angels in his Father's glory."
One day, while Jesus was praying privately and the disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"