August 22

Matthew 16:13-16

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’” vss. 15-16

The question of Jesus’ identity was a hot topic among the followers of Jesus in the early years. And even when they came to think of him as Messiah or Christ, their debate didn’t end. Some understood Messiah in strictly nationalistic terms, the promised Son of David who had come to restore the glory of David’s kingdom. But others had a more expansive view, especially when kingdom restoration didn’t even make it to Jesus’ mission agenda. Some of them began to see that what had happened in Jesus was the incarnation of the Christ, the Word of God who had been present in creation, and through whom all things had come into existence. It’s taken Jesus’ followers a long time to get their heads around what that actually means for daily living. We’ve grown up so linking Christ with Jesus, almost as though it’s his second name, that we’ve failed to grasp that the Christ is more than one particular person. What happened in Jesus was an example of God’s creative intention for all people! In Jesus the invisible became visible! And what a blessing it has been for humanity when folks have so surrendered themselves to the love of God that the Christ present in Jesus has become apparent also in them!

Thought for the Day: In whom have I seen the living Messiah?

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