Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” (Lk 9:18)
Our attitude toward someone is based upon our perception of who that person is and, to a large extent, what that person can do for others and for us.
What person, at one time or another in life, has not seen a police car in the rearview mirror or on the side of the road and immediately gone into panic mode or, at the very least, modified the speed at which the person was traveling? That was because we had a certain respect and/or fear of what law enforcement could do to us at that time.
Have we ever been in the presence of someone we admired and considered to be great? Maybe it was at a rock concert when we finally had a chance to see the group we idolized, maybe it was at a state function when a governor or a president came by, maybe it was in a public place when a movie star happened to make an appearance, or maybe it was at a special Mass when we got to see a bishop or, even, the pope.
At those times, we modified our behavior because we believed the person or people to be truly great.
Jesus asked His disciples who people thought He was. Their perception of Jesus would color the way they reacted to Him. Which was why Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was as well.
The answer, by Peter, was succinct: “You are the Christ of God.”
The only problem was that Peter’s idea of “the Christ” and Jesus’ understanding of who He was were two totally different things. Peter and the others were waiting for a Messiah that would deliver Israel from the clutches of all their foes. Jesus came to deliver the whole world from the clutches of the devil.
The manner in which deliverance would take place was radically different from Peter’s view. Jesus would have to suffer and die. The disciples learned a hard lesson that day. They learned that they did not know the Lord as well as they thought.
How well do we know the Lord? Just who do we say He is?
FAITH ACTION: If Jesus is Savior and Redeemer to us, we must live our lives in an entirely different way than that of the world. How will you live out your life today?