In the Christian calendar, the church observes the Confession of St. Peter on January 18. Matthew, Mark and Luke each report (with varying degrees of detail) the time in which Jesus asks his disciples what the crowds are saying about him. He then asks the disciples themselves about their opinion. At that point Peter makes his Confession – his affirmation – of the Messiahship of Jesus. The synoptics variously report Peter’s words as:
Matthew 16:13-20 -- “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Mark 8:27–30 -- “You are the Messiah.”
Luke 9:18–20 -- “The Messiah of God.”
It is Matthew alone who reports Jesus’ response, both in terms of revelation and in passing Kingdom responsibility along to Peter. But for all of the synoptic writers this is clearly a watershed moment not only for Peter, but for the church as well.
In modern times The Confession of Peter has been related to The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Faith and Order Movement of the World Council of Churches and the Anglican Friars of the Atonement have each advocated a time of uniting prayer since the early 20th century. The week has moved around the calendar a bit, but it the church now designates the week as taking place January 18 – 25.
Peter’s profession is that of all Christians. No matter what their views on other ideas and doctrines great and small, it is the affirmation, “(Jesus is) the Christ,” that gathers Christian believers together.