Upon this Rock!
It was not enough that a Jew confessed Jesus to be the Christ – the Messiah. He might do this and yet be ignorant of the Saviour. He must know Messiah to be SON OF GOD, if he was to know true salvation. For what could Messiah do for sinners if (like the Christ of Socinians) He were only a superior, though extraordinary man – and what could a Messiah do for such sinners as we are, if He were (like the Christ of Arians) only at the top of the angelic scale? We needed a Messiah who could “save to the uttermost,” and none other than the SON OF GOD could stretch the cords of salvation thus far. It is on this account that our Lord Himself says most solemnly in John viii. 24, “If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” He had declared Himself “from above” (ver. 23), and “not of this world,” and had said, “I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me” (ver. 16). And now, turning to the cavilling crowd of Pharisees, He looked them in the face, and with awful seriousness and majesty in His tone, assured them, “If ye believe not I am He (the Person whom I have said I am), ye shall die in your sins.”