Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Imagine what this moment must have been like for Jesus. He has been teaching, healing and loving for a few years. Some people decided to leave everything to follow Him. Some people listened to Him but decided to go their own way. Many people had no idea who He was.
Today we have the scene of Jesus praying in solitude. The Father is preparing Jesus for crucifixion and death. In that quiet prayer with the Father, Jesus is strengthened and encouraged. Jesus humbly asks the disciples, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” In other words, He wonders, “After all of this, how do people see me?” Some probably saw Jesus as a magician, an amazing teacher or a famous prophet come back to life.
Didn’t they believe Him when He told them He was the Son of God?
Did they not understand His parables and prophecies?
Jesus looks into the eyes of His closest followers and asks, “But who do you say that I am?” Do you get it? Do you believe what I have told you? And of course Peter speaks up for the twelve by saying, “The Christ of God.” Peter recognized Him as the Anointed One (Christ), the One sent to redeem the world.
If Jesus asked you that question, “But who do you say that I am?”, how would you respond? Look into His eyes. Is He your savior, best friend, miracle worker, Son of God…? How does this relationship change your life? Does it change the way you live?
Jesus told them that He would suffer, die and rise from the dead. Allow the mystery of Christ’s love sink deep into your heart today. We cannot remain neutral to this type of love.
Have a blessed day!