Bible Verse: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Luke 9:20
Scripture Reading: Luke 9:18-62
“I probably shouldn’t ask this.”
Around the room, heads turned and eyebrows raised. Until then, the church group icebreaker game had been predictable.
But now came a political/social question. Conservatives sent to one side of the room, Liberals to the other.
My wife and I made eye contact. We had previously been discussing topics where our opinions differed from the vast majority of our church, and whether it was time to start speaking up. When our eyes met, we both knew. Yes, it was time.
Wordlessly, we wandered over to the appropriately identified side. And, unsurprisingly to us, we found ourselves meeting curious eyes from everyone else…all on the other side of the room.
We could have just wandered to the side we knew everyone else would be on. We could have just fit in. We knew our identification would have repercussions, but we were asked a question, and it was time to make a statement.
Jesus asked His disciples a crucial question, too, one that required them to separate and stand alone.
“‘But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’”
That “But” makes this question a vehicle that separates people. Jesus had already asked His disciples what the word on the street was concerning His identity. People thought Jesus fit a variety of molds from Israel’s religious history (v.18-19).
However, Jesus wasn’t content with the mumbles from the crowds. He wanted to know what His friends thought. The men that He had specifically chosen to be His followers.
Perhaps you know the story and have been thinking of Peter’s answer. Luke’s recording of this confession is the shortest of the Gospel accounts. According to Luke, Peter simply replies, “God’s Messiah” (Luke 9:20 cf. Matt. 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-33).
The question echoes down through the centuries to present itself to each of us: “But you, who do you say I am?” How we answer that question has significance for our everyday, and for all of our days.
Yesterday, we saw that Jesus takes seriously how we think of Him. What we say about Him should be reflected in our actions. We’ll see it again tomorrow when we look at what follows this account. Right now, we need to answer the question Jesus asks: “Who do you say I am?”
Prayer: Jesus, I believe You are the Christ, and I know that following You may mean that I have to take a stand and separate myself from others. Help me to know when those times are and what that stand needs to look like. Help me to live every day confessing that You are the Son of God and all that means for me.
Reflection: What is your answer to Jesus’ question? Do you call Him “Lord” or “good man?” What makes you identify Jesus that way?
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