"What about you?" [Jesus] asked. "Who do you say I am?" Mark 8:29
In our reading for today we encounter the central question of Jesus' ministry. This is a question that not only Peter must answer. Every person who has ever lived must answer when Jesus asks, "Who do you say I am?"
This is a fascinating question, because Jesus focuses not on his teaching but on himself. In our day this often gets confused. We have to remember that our Christian faith is not just based on a set of propositions but on a Person. Without Jesus himself, our faith crumbles. Without Jesus, our faith is empty.
That's why it doesn't work to dabble in just a little bit of the Christian faith, taking in a little of this or that and ignoring the rest. We cannot settle for a little bit of Jesus. We must accept him as he is, on his terms.
Peter, with guidance from the Father (see Matthew 16:17), jumps in with an answer that was wiser and more profound than even he realized at the moment: "You are the Christ." In other words, Peter was saying, "Jesus, you are not just a great teacher or prophet. You are the Messiah, the promised one sent by God who has come to save his people. You are the One who will rescue us from the consequences of our sins."
Jesus wants to hear your answer to his question too. Who do you say he is?
Dear Lord, help me to believe with all my heart that you are Lord and Savior. Please help me in my areas of unbelief. Thank you for giving yourself for my salvation. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!