The Rev’d Derek Arnold
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Today’s reflection is by our Team Rector, Rev’d Derek Arnold and can be heard on the Website http://tcmc.church
Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
Faith goes beyond knowing what others believe, it requires us to hold beliefs for ourselves. When Jesus asks, “Who do you say I am?” he is expecting a response. He wants us to proclaim our faith.
All of us want to know the answers to some important questions, so that we can also make a positive response. How will my children turn out? Will I stay healthy? What will tomorrow bring? I guess these are some of the questions that we ask ourselves, at some point in our lives.
There are also those questions concerning our spiritual life? Does God exist or not, is perhaps, at the top of our list? And why is there so much suffering in the world is probably the next. And the list could go on and on, but I think it is important to question some things, so that we can get a better understanding about what is important.
As we heard in our reading from Luke and the same sort of questioning can also be heard in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus asks the disciples two questions. “Who do the crowds say I am?” and “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter’s response, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, is a confession of faith about what Peter thinks and is prepared to say about Jesus. He believes that Jesus is more than John the Baptist, more than a prophet like Elijah; in fact, Peter believes he is connected to God himself.
Peter knew that Jesus was more than just a man with dusty feet and dirty clothes. Jesus was unique! This man, who was at the same time God, had changed him; changed him for the better. Peter was beginning to trust and believe in Jesus more and more. Peter saw beyond the man and glimpsed the divine.
I guess for that expression of faith, Jesus handed him the keys to the Kingdom. The opportunity to bring people to the Kingdom of heaven by presenting them with the message of salvation found in God’s word.
I wonder how many of us truly see and feel the divinity of Christ today? How many of us can cry out “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”? And how many of us miss Jesus, all together because we get caught in the exterior stuff of our faith that we cannot see the God that lies beyond; that is the God who is active, living, and interested in us. ‘Who do you say that I am?’ asks Jesus. Only we can answer that question for ourselves?
Lord of creation,
whose glory is around and within us:
open our eyes to your wonders,
that we may serve you with reverence
and know your peace at our lives’ end,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.