As Jesus was preparing to make the journey to Jerusalem, he asked his disciples what people were saying about him. He was told that many thought he was John the Baptist, or Elijah, or one of the other prophets returned to earth. He then asked the disciples who they thought he was. “Who do you say I am?”. We read in Matthew 16 that Peter responded by saying “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”.
“Who do you say I am?”. It was an important question for the disciples as they started their long walk to Jerusalem, where they would encounter miracles, celebration, betrayal, death, fear, and ultimately resurrection filled empowerment. I believe Jesus wanted to be certain that his disciples had the understanding that would support them when things went upside down in Jerusalem.
“Who do you say I am?”. It’s an important question for us today as we seek to follow Jesus. We are living in perilous times as we continue to navigate the chaos that Covid 19 creates, as we watch Black Lives Matter protests erupt across our nation and in our backyards , and as we enter into what will very likely be one of the most contentious presidential races that any of us have ever experienced. With all this multi-dimensional chaos swirling around us, we need to be clear about who we say Jesus is, and how we are called to live out our lives as followers of the Son of the Living God.
Jesus calls us, His 21st Century disciples to follow the same example he set for his 1st Century disciples. We are to proclaim good news to the poor, set free the captive, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
I encourage you to struggle with this question. Who do you say Jesus is? What choices do you make based on your answer? This may be the most important question you answer, now, or ever.
May God’s Holy Spirit bless and guide you this month.