Scripture: Luke 9:18-22
18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?" 19 And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen." 20 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God." 21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
Meditation: Who is Jesus for you - and what difference does he make in your life? Many in Israel recognized Jesus as a mighty man of God, even comparing him with the greatest of the prophets. Peter, always quick to respond whenever Jesus spoke, professed that Jesus was truly the "Christ of God" - "the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter, but only God. Through the "eyes of faith" Peter discovered who Jesus truly was. Peter recognized that Jesus was much more than a great teacher, prophet, and miracle worker. Peter was the first apostle to publicly declare that Jesus was the Anointed One, consecrated by the Father and sent into the world to redeem a fallen human race enslaved to sin and cut off from eternal life with God (Luke 9:20, Acts 2:14-36). The word for "Christ" in Greek is a translation of the Hebrew word for "Messiah" - both words literally mean the Anointed One.
Jesus begins to explain the mission he was sent to
Why did Jesus command his disciples to be silent about his identity as the anointed Son of God? They were, after all, appointed to proclaim the good news to everyone. Jesus knew that they did not yet fully understand his mission and how he would accomplish it. Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD), an early church father, explains the reason for this silence:
We, too, have a share in the mission and victory of Jesus
If we want to share in the victory of the Lord Jesus, then we must also take up our cross and follow where he leads us. What is the "cross" that you and I must take up each day? When my will crosses (does not align) with God's will, then his will must be done. To know Jesus Christ is to know the power of his victory on the cross where he defeated sin and conquered death through his resurrection. The Holy Spirit gives each of us the gifts and strength we need to live as sons and daughters of God. The Holy Spirit gives us faith to know the Lord Jesus personally as our Redeemer, and the power to live the gospel faithfully, and the courage to witness to others the joy, truth, and freedom of the Gospel. Who do you say that Jesus is?
"Lord Jesus, I believe and I profess that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Take my life, my will, and all that I have, that I may be wholly yours now and forever."
1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly
people; from deceitful and unjust men deliver me!
2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 Oh send out your light and your truth; let them lead me, let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Peter confesses that Jesus is God's Anointed Son and Savior of all, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"You see the skillfulness of the question. He [Jesus] did not at
once say, 'Who do you say that I am?' He refers to the rumor of
those that were outside their company. Then, having rejected it
and shown it unsound, he might bring them back to the true
opinion. It happened that way. When the disciples had said, 'Some,
John the Baptist, and others, Elijah, and others, that some
prophet of those in old time has risen up,' he said to them, 'But
you, who do you say that I am?' Oh! how full of meaning is that
word you! He separates them from all others, that they may also
avoid the opinions of others. In this way, they will not conceive
an unworthy idea about him or entertain confused and wavering
thoughts. Then they will not also imagine that John had risen
again, or one of the prophets. 'You,' he says, 'who have been
chosen,' who by my decree have been called to the apostleship, who
are the witnesses of my miracles. Who do you say that I
am?'" (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 49)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.
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