When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.—St. Matt, xvi: 13-20.
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NOTE BY THE ARTIST
The site of Caesarea Philippi is one of the loveliest spots in Northern Palestine. On ground carpeted with an infinite variety of wild flowers, the traveller rests in the grateful shade of oak and mulberry, olive and fig tree. The sound of many waters is heard on all sides as they hasten from the adjacent slopes of Herman to join the head waters of Jordan, bursting in strength from a cavern at the foot of a mighty cliff. Hither, with his handful of followers, came Jesus, weary and in deep depression of spirit, a fugitive from his own people, who had finally rejected him; and here, in reply to searching and anxious enquiry, “Whom say ye that I am?” he received from Simon Peter the memorable confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF CHRIST
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.—St. Matt, xvii: 1—8.
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NOTE BY THE ARTIST