Reading: Matthew 16: 13-16
Verse 15: “But what about you?”, He asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Jesus asks a question that was probably garnering its fair share of conversations. The topic may not have been all over Facebook or Twitter or talk radio or the tabloid news, but the question was certainly out there. In the inner rooms of the Pharisees and other religious leaders they were most certainly discussing who Jesus was. We can tell from the crowds that came and were often there waiting that the conversation was happening. Wherever He taught and healed the news proceeded Jesus and talk lingered after He went on to the next town or village.
To the disciples, Jesus asks who people say He is. They have heard the gossip and the whispers as they have traveled. Some of the responses are probably a bit out there and others are grounded in their faith story as some name famous prophets. Maybe the conversation had the tone of one of those videos where a crew hits the street with a microphone and video camera and asks the same Jesus question. But then it turns serious as Jesus asks, “But what about you?”, He asked. “Who do you say I am?”. I imagine the word ‘you’ carried the emphasis as Jesus spoke.
Peter gives the answer. Perhaps there were a few disciples staring at the ground as they mulled over the question, hoping Jesus did not call on them. It is a hard question yet a very easy question too. Peter responds quickly, saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Bingo. There were probably a few disciples happy in that moment for Peter’s tendency to act or speak before thinking. But he was spot on.
Jesus’ question is one we need to have a ready answer to as well. And this is where the question can be hard. For some it will begin with, “Well…. umm…”. But it cannot stay there. All believers need to be just as ready as Peter was. We all need to be prepared to share just who Jesus is for us. If not, we simply appear to know about Jesus instead of really knowing Jesus. So, who do YOU say Jesus is? May we each ponder over the question and prepare our own personal response. May we be prepared to proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ to a world with ears that need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.