The Most Important Question of Your Life
Jesus asked that question of his disciples. And we are his contemporary disciples, and he’s asking us today.
The encounter is recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter sixteen, and the Gospel of St. Mark, chapter six.
Matthew gives us a little more detail, and here’s the context: the disciples had been walking with Jesus already. They’d seen his miracles; they had heard is incredible teaching as he brought heaven to earth. Yet, when he asked them the question, their first response was woefully inadequate.
Here’s what he asked: who the people say I am? And they responded, some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets. And Jesus persisted. But you he said, who do you say I am?
And you know, he still asks that question today – of you and of me. And very often, we give the same kind of answers. He’s a prophet; he’s a great teacher… and they’re insufficient.
The only proper response is the one given by Peter. Jesus said, ‘Who do you say I am?’ And Peter said, ‘You are the Christ, the Messiah, the son of the Living God.’
And in that response, Jesus and Peter connected in a profound way. In that encounter, Peter was transformed. Oh, not all at once. We know what happened in his life; he still denied the Lord three times. But Jesus made a promise to him on that day. And that promise was fulfilled.
Today we’re asked the question by Jesus, WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?
For many of us, we were brought to the Lord initially as children – by our moms, and dads, and godparents – in the sacrament of baptism, an ancient practice of the Church.
“Let the children come to me,” Jesus said. He also said you did not choose me, but I chose you. And on that day, he chose us. And in those waters we were plunged into his death and when we came out brought into his resurrection, but that was not the end – it was only the beginning of a call to a life of discipleship, of following Jesus on the way, of growing in our faith, and of responding to him continually.
When we hear that question, “who do you say I am,” the only proper response for you and for me is, “You are the Christ, you are the Messiah; the Savior. My messiah; my savior. Lord Jesus, come and live in me. Save me from sin and death, and save me for a new way of living in you.”
And when we answer that question… And by the way, yesterday’s answer is insufficient. We need to answer it every day – in fact, every hour. We need to stay in a continual encounter with Jesus. And when we do, transformation takes place. And he responds with such grace.
And so, that’s the most important question of your life and mine.
Who do you say Jesus is? Let us answer correctly, with Peter, and with all those who throughout the ages have given the right response. “You are the Christ; you are the Messiah; you are the Lord.”
God bless you.