One commentator has said that the most important question you can ever ask is, “Who is Jesus?” Our answer has serious consequences, both now and also eternally. Our response determines how we think and act.
In some ways people today are still asking the same question. Ask them who is Jesus and you get responses such as a good man, a great teacher, a miracle worker or similar. None of these answers really demand much of a response personally. They are opinions that one can either accept or not but it doesn’t really change their actions or thoughts. I think that many people do not think much beyond these answers.
In today’s gospel, Jesus asks his disciples the same question. “Who do you say that I am?” This was the second of two questions Jesus put to his disciples. (The first asked them who people thought he was). This second question went much deeper than the first. It challenged the disciples to really confront the questions that had been asking for about two years as they had followed Jesus. “Who is this man?” Their response was vital, as is ours today. If we think Jesus was “a good man” etc then we can very easily dismiss him. If we answer “The Son Of God” then it becomes harder to do so. It is an easy question to gloss over.
Having finally “got it”, the next encounter showed how much they still did not understand. Preconceived ideas meant that they were blind to understanding the full implications of their pronouncement. This would take time. The two questions Jesus asked are still relevant to us today. How would you answer them? How do they change your perceptions and your response?
- Tony Wicking