Why Did Jesus Ask His Disciples Who Do You Say I Am?

When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15), he was not merely seeking affirmation of his own identity. Rather, he was challenging his followers to examine their own beliefs and understandings about him.


Jesus had been preaching and performing miracles throughout the land, gaining a large following of people who were intrigued by his teachings and amazed by his works. However, there were also many skeptics and opponents who questioned his authority and challenged his message.

The Question:

It was in this context that Jesus posed the question to his disciples. He wanted to know where they stood in relation to him – not just as a teacher or prophet, but as the Son of God. This was a crucial moment in the disciples’ journey with Jesus because it required them to take a stand on their faith.

Peter’s Answer:

In response to Jesus’ question, Peter boldly declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). This confession of faith showed that Peter recognized Jesus as more than just a human teacher or miracle worker – he acknowledged him as the Messiah and divine Son of God.


Jesus’ question had profound implications for both his disciples and for us today. By asking “Who do you say I am?

“, he challenged us to examine our own beliefs about him. Do we see him merely as a historical figure or religious leader? Or do we recognize him as the Savior who came to reconcile us with God?

  • Boldly Confessing: Like Peter, we are called to boldly confess our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
  • Examining Our Beliefs: We must continually examine our own beliefs about Jesus and seek to deepen our understanding of who he is.
  • Following His Teachings: Recognizing Jesus as the Son of God also means following his teachings and living according to his example.


In asking his disciples “Who do you say I am?”, Jesus challenged them – and us – to take a stand on our faith. By recognizing him as the Son of God and Savior, we can experience the fullness of life that he came to offer.