September 10, 2021
As today’s text opens, Jesus and his disciples are walking along the path to visit several villages around the pagan city Caesarea Philippi. Out of the blue, Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” That was an easy question for the disciples to answer. They gave several responses — John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets — all highly esteemed religious leaders from their present time to the ancient Hebrew past. Then he got personal. “Who do YOU say that I am?” The text doesn’t say how long it took for Peter to finally break the silence and answer, but notice, it’s only Peter who answers. Did the other disciples feel uncomfortable with this question? They knew Jesus as their rabbi and friend. They ate with him; walked and talked for many miles with him as they traversed the country. They knew him intimately. Was it harder for them to answer this question because he was so familiar?
Peter gets the right answer: Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the person God has chosen to rescue his people.
For those of us who have been in church a long time — maybe all of our lives — Jesus has become familiar. We have heard stories about him since we were children in Sunday School; we’ve been in Bible studies and we know the right things to say about him. But who do we really think he is? Who is he really to us? The answer to this question determines how we live and how we trust.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- How does your life answer the question Jesus posed to the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?”
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- If a friend asked you who Jesus was, what would you say? What are some of the things you’ve learned about him in Sunday School or from your parents?
Lord, we have learned a lot of things about you from attending church and Bible studies. Help us to stop and consider who you are to us from personal experience. Help us to know you intimately as savior, Lord, teacher and friend. Amen.