“He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’” vs. 29
Followers of Jesus in the first century had one basic answer to questions about his identity. Like Peter in Mark’s story they made the bold claim that he was the Messiah or as we more commonly say, he was the Christ. The words, one Hebrew and the other Greek, mean the same thing. Jesus was the anointed one, the one sent by God to be God’s very presence in our world. He was more than a prophet, more than a teacher or healer; he was the incarnate Word of God. Through him God’s grace and love was poured into the world and into the lives of all believers. Of course not everyone bought into the testimony of the disciples…many simply refused to believe that someone who had gotten himself captured and crucified was anyone to be admired. They continued to hold out for a more spectacular and successful leader, one who would restore greatness to Israel. Our issue is different. For many of us faith has come too easily…we’ve always believed…it’s been a part of our culture. We don’t realize how absurd it was for Peter to say, “You are the Messiah.” Declaring faith in Jesus should be a heart-wrenching decision, one that involves either risk or ridicule, or at the very least, repentance. Only then will we be able to grasp the mystery and the power of the gospel.
Thought for the Day: Why is it absurd to say that Jesus was the Christ?