13 And Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is?
Gloss: When about to confirm the disciples in the faith, He would first take away from their minds the errors and opinions of others.
Origen: Christ puts this question to His disciples, that from their answer we may learn that there were at that time among the Jews various opinions concerning Christ.
Chrysostom: He says not, Whom do the Scribes and Pharisees say that I am? but, Whom do men say that I am? searching into the minds of the common people.
Hilary: He implied that something ought to be thought respecting Him beyond what appeared, for He was the Son of Man. . . . We must hold that form of confession, that we so mention the Son of God as not to forget the Son of Man, for the one without the other offers us no hope of salvation.
Jerome: He says not, Whom do men say that I am? but, “Whom do men say that the Son of Man is?” that He should not seem to ask ostentatiously concerning Himself. Observe, that wherever the Old Testament has Son of Man, the phrase in the Hebrew is Son of Adam.
14 But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Origen: The disciples recount the divers opinions of the Jews relating to Christ; “And they said, some say John the Baptist,” following Herod’s opinion [Matt 14:2]; “others Elias,” supposing either that Elias had gone through a second birth, or that having continued alive in the body, He had at this time appeared; “others Jeremias”, whom the Lord had ordained to be Prophet among the Gentiles [Jer 46:1], not understanding that Jeremias was a type of Christ; “or one of the Prophets,” in a like way, because of those things which God spoke to them through the Prophets, yet they were not fulfilled in them, but in Christ.
Jerome: It was as easy for the multitudes to be wrong in supposing Him to be Elias and Jeremias, as Herod in supposing Him to be John the Baptist [Mark 6:14-16].
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. I (London: Rivington, 1842).