Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” (Mark 8:27-29 NRSV)
Have you ever had it said to you? Have you ever said it? No doubt many of us have been tempted at times. “Don’t talk to me like that! Just who do you think you are talking to?” It’s a bit of a last gasp to retain some dignity when a heated argument appears to be going the wrong way. It always fails, and rightly so.
The attempt to put on airs and graces when reasoned discussion fails tends to reduce the argument to the level of farce.
Of one thing we can be sure. Jesus never sought to exalt himself at anyone’s expense.
In fact, although we rightly use the title “Lord Jesus Christ”, it is the last of those three words which really matters.
Impetuous but insightful Peter blurts out what at least some of his friends are thinking: “You are the Messiah.”
“Messiah” and “Christ” are two words which essentially mean the same thing – “God’s anointed one.” He is the one who will save the people. He is the new promised King, except that his kingdom will not be built on power, conflict and domination, but of love, justice and peace.
The name “Christ” is not his surname, but his vocation. Jesus Christ is the Saviour sent from God.
So we quite properly call him Lord and King, but he is in truth the King who comes as a servant, washing his disciples’ feet, dedicating long days to healing and teaching, dying on a cross to show that evil ultimately has no power over love.
The question is: Who do you say that he is?
The answer could significantly shape your life.
you are the Christ,
the Anointed One,
the Son of the living God.
Help me to understand the truth of that
and all that it means
deep within my heart and soul.