One of my favorite sites out of the whole trip was Caesera Philippi where Peter confessed that Jesus was Christ. Jesus was known for doing things a bit out of the ordinary and coming to Caesera Philippi was one of those things. Originally, the place was called Paneas in honor of the Greek God Pan, whose shrine was located there, and the whole region was especially known for their pagan worship. But, Jesus did not care what the region was known for or who was being worshipped. For me this would be like my accounting professor taking me to a company meeting at what was say, Enron, to learn about some of their accounting standards.
One thing we do not give our savior enough credit for is how he faced temptation. He faced temptation so well that we do not even realize He was being tempted. Jesus took his disciples to this region that was wicked and evil and He asked His disciples in Matthew 16:13 “…Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Peter answered in verse 16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
As we were sitting around doing our devotional at the foot of this cave where idols were for sure present, you got a sense of wonder at the grandeur of the rock around the cave. The rock was massive, thick, and solid. It made you feel very minute and inadequate standing next to the magnificent stone. Right there, next to the cave where idols were worshipped and the last thing that was on people’s mind was God, Peter confessed that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus told Peter in verse 18, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
For me, this site was one of my favorites of the whole trip because it showed me just how strong Jesus was and is today. As I stood next to and looked into the cave where 2000 years ago others worshipped false gods, I got a feeling of darkness. Jesus was there in the height of existence of pagan worship and He stood stronger than ever. He was not shaken and knew that wherever He was and no matter how much evil surrounded Him, His father was with Him at all times.
There have been and will be times for me where I might be near or even in a place like Caesera Philippi where all I can see is a black abyss. But to know that nothing will conquer our Lord is comforting and powerful and aslo know that we serve a God who cannot be moved, that His rule wipes out all that is evil and wicked. His love will prevail. Sometimes we need to realize and confess who Christ is and get rid of the blackness in our life.