Matthew 16:13-19: The Christ
We might well wonder who Jesus is. For centuries scholars and common folk alike have pondered this question. Religious wars are fought; synods and councils are called; church leaders write creeds that lay out who and what this man means to us. Old and New Testaments predict and describe him and while sacred scripture and secular writings alike attempt to define him, Jesus gives us his open arms and willing heart. Jesus both defies and invites definition. Who and what are Jesus?
Jesus asks his disciples: What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?
They reply saying: Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.
Jesus presses them: And how about you? Who do you say I am?
Simon Peter says: You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
Jesus then replies: God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are.
Testimonies record encounters with the risen Christ and we may also have recorded or passed on our own encounters to those who have open ears and minds and hearts.
Today we hear Jesus ask each of: And how about you? Who do you say I am?
Today we have the opportunity to add our own demonstration of faith in Christ to the countless stories that have been told and are yet to be told. Let us count ourselves among that number as we remember our Lenten practice and . . . Rather than thinking: “Let us make three tents to contain the joy of God’s wisdom,” let us think instead, “Let us share the joy of God’s great gift of love”.
Charlotte Allen, a controversial journalist published in the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington, Post, the Washington Times, Insight, City Journal, Washington Monthly, the New Republic and the Atlantic, has written The Human Christ: The Search For The Historical Jesus (ISBN 0-684-82725-5). Her interesting blog can be found at: https://blogstupidgirl.wordpress.com/
For a Noontime reflection on the connection between Jesus and Jonas, read the Jonah 3:1-3: Setting Out for Nineveh post at: https://thenoontimes.com/2015/03/05/jonah-31-3-setting-out-for-nineveh/
Today we think about the many perspectives on the identity of Jesus. Tomorrow, they preach but they do not practice.