Friday, November 11, 2011

answer the question

In our Gospel reading today, Jesus asks his disciples who do people they say he is. They give various answers. Then he asks 'but who do you say that I am?' And Peter confesses that he is the Christ, the Son of God.

Why does Jesus ask, as opposed to simply telling them? Because, I think, there comes a point where they have to make their own minds up. All the evidence has been piled up before them; Jesus leaves it to them to decide where it leads.

Even then, it is a big leap, to go from what they have seen and heard to recognising Jesus for the Messiah, the Son of God. It takes more than just facts, it takes grace. That's why Jesus says 'For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.' God guides the human heart.

Today, in Scripture, we have the witness of those who saw and heard the same things that Peter did. And the same question is asked of us: based on this, who do we say that Jesus is? It is as big a question for us as it was for Peter and all the others. And we, like them, have God's grace to help us with the answer. Amen.

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