“Who Do You Say That I Am?”

Matthew 16:13-20

  • Reflect on this passage alone or with a small group.

A couple of years ago, more like a decade and a half, I was knee-deep in my Youth Group and enjoying church. If you were to ask me what I knew about Christ back then, I don’t think I would have had a great answer. Uh, he was God’s only son, and he was a sacrifice for our sins. Sure the words would have been valid, but they were regurgitated from what others had said. I don’t think they had any real merit to what I believed. Chances are, I would have considered anybody’s theory on who Christ was. Much like the Disciples, my answers were to the initial question, “Who do others say the Son of man is?” 

By being active Christian Responders, we live with an entirely different worldview than most have. And unfortunately, we are left hearing what most have to say about the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. These words can be misleading, inaccurate, and often demoralizing and hateful. Other times they are authentic, but, for some reason, don’t resonate with us. Remember, Christ’s whole point of addressing His Disciples wasn’t to find out what others had to say about Him; he already knew what they say. No, the real question was much more personal: “who do you say that I am?” That question is intimate and hits deep. It calls on us to contemplate, not regurgitate. God wants to know who He is in our eyes.

Like the disciples, the right answer can only come from having a relationship with God [Jn 6:45]. In Peter’s case, he responds with one of the most prominent pillars of the Christian faith, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Now, do you agree to this because someone else has said it or because of something else more profound? Furthermore, do you believe this question was only posed to Peter? I argue it wasn’t’! With every trial, every temptation, every happy occasion, and every moment of shame and regret, Christ challenges us with this simple question. Even now: “Who do YOU say that I am?” 

Heavenly Father,

We live in a world of opinions about everything, including views about You. Teach me to contemplate Your majesty, study Your words, and, ultimately, strengthen my relationship with You. Tell me who You are so that I can proclaim it brazenly to the world.

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