Thursday 24 October, 2019
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” 19 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.” 20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Jesus Predicts His Death 21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 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.”
This is one of those momentous passages.
“Who do the crowds say I am?” Anyone could see that God was bringing his promises to fulfilment. (Maybe he’s the new Elijah who Isaiah said would announce God coming to his people? … Except that was John the Baptist.) They can see that resurrection and restoration is what God is doing. But looking from the outside is not enough.
“Who do you say that I am?” The “Christ” – the “Messiah” – the “anointed one of God”: Anointed to be king, like David; Anointed as a prophet; Anointed as the priest (like Aaron); Anointed by the Holy Spirit as the “Son of God”; and Anointed for death. Jesus isn’t the one preparing the way. Jesus is the Lord who comes to bring restoration to God’s people.
They needed to walk with Jesus to see this, listening to him and listening to the Father (Matthew adds that’s where Peter heard this). What should they do with this hugely important insight? Be quiet – until the right time. This pairs with Acts 1:4-8: They are to wait for the Holy Spirit to come to them too, and then they will receive power and will be Jesus’ witnesses to the whole world.
What about me?
If I want to know who Jesus is, I should not listen to the crowds. I need to listen to Jesus, I need to listen to the Father. I need to encounter him personally and to be filled with his Spirit. At the right time, my words and my actions will also show Jesus to people around me.
Written by David Cornell
[comments section is closed]