We have been reading about Jesus’s miracles, and each time, we see more and more people becoming interested in him, and some people even proclaiming who Jesus is.
Yesterday, we read about how Jesus walked on water, and the disciples proclaiming at the end of the story that Jesus is truly the Son of God.
This passage comes right after our previous story, and it is Jesus’s conversation with his disciples. Jesus asks them, who do the people say that he is? The crowds have been gathering to hear and see Jesus, and they are all trying to figure out who Jesus is. Even the disciples go back and forth on who Jesus is.
The crowds say Jesus might be a prophet like Elijah or John the Baptist. Jesus then asks, you know what other people say who I am, what about you? Who do you think I am? Then Peter answers, Christ (the Messiah) of God.
Peter gives a great answer, but Jesus’s reaction is not what we expect. Instead of acknowledging Peter’s confession, Jesus strictly tells him to not tell anyone. Then he goes on to tell them what he must go through. Basically, Jesus is saying what you just confessed is not really what he is. The title may be correct, but the meaning of this title totally different! This is a savior of God that does not look like savior. He looks like a criminal. He will suffer, be rejected, and killed. And we are to follow his footsteps by denying ourselves and taking up our cross. Daily!
Jesus is talking about some dark things here. Even for us when we are reading it, sounds so hard and difficult. Carrying our cross? Losing our lives? I thought we were supposed to be healed and saved, and then have a great feast that is overflowing with wine and food? This isn’t what we signed up for, or is it? We like the disciples are often confused about Jesus and his kingdom. At the end of the passage, Jesus says losing our life will be the way to save it, and he will come in glory, and we will get to see this kingdom of God.
Who do we say that Jesus is? Is he a problem-solver? An ego-booster? A significant historical person? A Christianity symbol? Our honest answer will show if we know who Jesus is. When we do know him, we are able to deny ourselves and carry our crosses.