This is the phrase taken from Sunday’s Gospel reading. It’s Jesus asking the disciples the question – who do they say Jesus is? Jesus wants to know – do they think of Jesus as just a nice guy who makes people feel good about themselves? Do they think of Jesus as just another spiritual teacher? Maybe Jesus is a prophet? Or maybe they see Jesus as someone who has some good advice to give?
There’s hesitation in the answer – no one wants to answer. But Peter makes the bold declaration – “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.”
I wonder if Peter even knew what he was doing when he said that. If Jesus is Messiah, son of the living God, then there are consequences for that. If Jesus is just a nice guy with some wisdom to teach, there are consequences for that too. It’s a lot easier to smile and nod and pretend to take in something that is said from a nice guy with good life advice. You can’t do that though if we’re talking about God.
If Jesus is God, then that means Peter’s whole life is about to change.
This is what happens when Jesus encounters someone – lives change.
Jesus isn’t just asking Peter – “Who do you say that I am?” He’s asking us this same question too.
What is our answer? If our answer is similar to Peter’s then are we prepared for the consequences of the answer? If Jesus is Messiah, then it impacts what we do. It impacts our relationships. It impacts our work. And yes, it impacts our finances and our identities. If Jesus is Messiah, son of the living God, then we can’t just cherry pick what Jesus says – we are called to live it out, we are called to imitate Jesus.
Jesus asks us – “Who do you say that I am?”
What’s your answer?