Extended reading: Matthew 15:29-16:12 feeding four thousand, be on guard against Pharisees
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
This is a pivotal moment for the disciples and Jesus, an ah-ha flash of insight into the true nature of their teacher and leader. Did they realize it only as Peter spoke? Or was it a growing awareness for them? Think about the way we fall in love. For some folks, it is an immediate reaction upon meeting their special person – we call it “love at first sight.” For the rest of us, love takes a while, as we gradually come to realize how precious that person has become.
The disciples have been with Jesus for some time, maybe even a year or so, before Jesus asks them about his identity as “Son of Man.” They all contribute some partial answers from what others have told them. But Peter shoots the bulls eye. “Who do you say I am?” And Peter replies, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
You may have believed in Jesus for a long time, or you may still be seeking answers about who Jesus is in your life. It’s okay if it takes a while to put him at the center, to decide that he is the one alone who gives you purpose. But at some point, God will ask you the question. God is hoping you will reply in a way that gives the praise to Jesus Christ your savior, our messiah.
Speak within my heart, O God. Work within me a transformation, so I may put my trust in you alone for my salvation. Jesus took my sins, my shortcomings, nailing them to the cross. He has done this for me, so I may know I am forgiven. My life is sealed in him unto eternal life. Let me honor him and give him praise, so that today I may live for him. In Christ I pray, Amen.