In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter responds making up for everything said about him in last Sunday's sermon, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God."
Bill Fletcher from Aotearoa-New Zealand writes of this passage at his Doing as Jesus Commands page,
Matthew's gospel is built around the coming of "The One". Only Jesus uses the title, "Son of man" (in Hebrew = a man, THE Man, or humankind in general). In the Book of Daniel the phrase is used to describe a glorious figure, who was to receive from God the kingdom to come! By asking the question, Jesus shows interest in what people were thinking about the "One-who-is-to-come".You can read the full text here.
John the Baptist, Elijah and Jeremiah - were all fiery personalities. They were prophets, who raised questions about evil powers & corrupt authorities; about the government of the time. People had been saying Jesus was a new John, or a prophet, or a new judge! By the question, Matthew identifies Jesus with "the One". Opposition to Jesus had come into the open. He asks the disciples what they think about "the One". Simon Peter said: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (v.16).
In other words Peter proclaims: "Jesus, you are the messiah." The rest were saying Jesus was, "a new prophet". Peter says "Jesus, you are THE One-who-is-to-come; YOU are the Messiah! You aren't merely announcing the reigning of God - the prophets had already done that!! "With You the reigning of God comes!" Jesus replied: "Simon, Son of Jonah, you are a blessed man! Because it was no human agency that revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven" (v.17).
People couldn't know that Jesus was the Messiah or "THE One" if they hadn't noticed any change! Jesus had to be another prophet. A poorly dressed, humble, working-man prophet at that! They didn't see anything in Jesus, resembling the reigning of God!! But Peter understood Jesus was more than a prophet! Peter understood that Jesus was "THE One-who-was-to-come"; The One who is to fulfil the words of the prophets.