Who do you say that I am?
We face again the great question of identity. “Identity” is a term that we hear more today than probably any other time in history. That makes it even more surprising and engaging that it is such an important topic for Jesus. Others wonder who he is. It is something that was discussed in the high circles of Jerusalem society. Simple people that came to hear him wondered how he could have the power to heal their sick. The disciples asked themselves: “who is this man whom we are following?”
Jesus is interested in the question as well. “Who do the crowds say that I am?” This becomes an important question because he wants to make sure that he is leading them in the correct direction. It is a revealing question to pose to his disciples because he will be able to uncover the thoughts from their hearts as well. St. John’s Gospel reveals that “Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.” (Jn. 2:24-25)
They blurt out some of the popular responses of the day. Herod had to deal with some of the same ideas. People suggest he could be Elijah or one of the prophets. Jesus is in continuity with the prophets, but he is so much more. No prophet had the same power of Jesus. Especially since none of the prophets could claim to be the Son of God in the same way.
It is an epiphany moment for St. Peter. When he is asked directly about the identity of Christ, he answers back honestly: “The Christ of God.” It is the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, who had revealed this truth to him.
We can learn to ask ourselves as well: Who is Christ for me? It is a good question because it leads us to a deeper relationship with Christ. Take some time to spend with Christ and get in touch with who he is for your life.