This is a religious problem, a problem the religious leaders try to deal with in a backhanded way but cannot find a trusted testimony against Jesus. So they cut to the chase: “Are you the Christ?” That is a huge question, the heart of the problem. Jesus’ answer condemns himself and undermines all the authority of the religious leaders. The response is dramatic rage. There is no time to reflect upon the answer or the meaning of the question. Do they not want and expect the Messiah? Are they responding out of fear of what it may mean or fear at the possible loss of their power base? Why do they react with violence to Jesus peacefulness as the Christ?
And then we get the first contrite heart, Peter. He saw Jesus in ministry. He knew Jesus personally. He heard the parables, the teachings and the explanations. Peter was an insider who proclaimed Jesus as Christ. And he promised to die with Jesus, to stand next to him through it all. But he could not. And he broke down and wept. It is not until one is broken that one can be remade as God would have you. No amount of training, praying or promising amounts to one moment of brokenness and weeping, ready to be remade.
Change never comes without sacrifice or pain.