Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.$0"2$ Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
In the bible passages, Jesus often prayed in solitude, especially when some significant event is going to happen. This indicates that both for Jesus and His followers, it is important to seek the Father's will through prayer in order to understand His calling and His plan for each of us.
Jesus then asked his disciples, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" This echoes with the question Herod asked about Jesus previously: "Who is this about whom I hear such things?" At that time the miracles and things Jesus did had spread very far, thus many people were speculating about who this person is. Some said He is John the Baptist raised from the dead; some said he is Elijah; others said He is one of the ancient prophets who has arisen. Yet these are just rumors. More important is the question Jesus asked next: "But who do you say that I am?" Anyone can learn about Jesus from what other people say, or from different sources, but what's more important is that we must figure out who is Jesus to us personally. Is He someone distant or historic? Or have we invited Him into our lives as our ever living Lord and God?
Through the Heavenly Father's revelation, Peter replied that Jesus is "the Messiah of God". "Messiah” is the Hebrew word meaning "anointed one", which is equivalent to "Christ" in Greek. At that time, the Jews were expecting the Messiah to come in glory to establish God's kingdom, but Jesus repeatedly told His disciples that he must suffer greatly and be rejected, before He will raise again. We look forward to the eternal life and glory that Jesus will share with us in heaven, but before all this happens, we must also remind ourselves that as His disciples, we must first carry our cross and follow Him.