In today’s Gospel from Luke, Jesus asks his disciples what the scuttlebutt is about him. What are people saying about me? Who do they say I am? Apparently rumors abound. Some people say he is Elijah. Others think he is John the Baptist come back from the dead. Others think he is one of the ancient prophets.
Jesus then asks them the million dollar question: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answers, “The Christ of God.”
“Who do you say that I am?” There are a lot of possible answers to that question. A healer. A prophet. An enlightened being. The Son of God. A madman. (C.S. Lewis wrote that Jesus must either be the Son of God “else a madman or something worse.”)
Think hard and long about how you answer the question. Because as Jesus tells the disciples, there are consequences to recognizing Him as the Son of God. If they had any illusion that being with Christ would be all about healing the sick and turning water into wine and eating meals at the home of Martha and Mary, Jesus disabuses them of that idea. Not only must the Son of Man “suffer greatly and be rejected…and killed,” but “if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Not exactly all fun and games.
What is your answer to Jesus? Who do you say He is?