Those 12 men saw so many miracles. They saw the lame leap, demons cast aside, blind men seeing, a man walking on water, thousands feed with tiny supplies, and the dead living. They heard powerful principles presented in persuasive ways, political pundits pummeled, and compelled the commands.
Yet this day, Jesus conducted an straw poll with information from the disciples. He asked, "Who does everyone think I am?"
The answers varied as wildly as the disciples themselves. Could it have been Simon the Zealot who reported rumors of him being John the baptizer. Was it Judas Iscariot saying Jesus was perceived as Elijah? Did the accountant Matthew say he heard He was Haggai? Could it have been quiet Andrew reporting "the sad prophet Jeremiah"? What ever they answered, all were in some manner similar to a prominent prophet.
In one of my earlier 'lives', I was a newspaper reporter. It was easy and exciting to report what others said, and quote their opinions. I was glad I was not the editor -- I was not forced to write my beliefs.
Then Jesus plopped a powerful, poignant problem in their lap -- "Who do YOU say I am?"
How long was it before Peter responded? I believe it took everyone a moment to stop reporting and start reflecting. Most took a moment to evaluate all the miracles and teachings the last three years had supplied. They searched for the right words. I visualize them looking at each other wondering who would give an 'official' answer for the group.
Peter's answer was extraordinary. Exact. Precise. Simple. Short.
And answer was so profound, but not protective. His example of confessing faith did not protect him from danger.
- One night he denied knowing Jesus three times.
- One night he was the subject of countless prayers as he faced being beheaded the next morning.
- He was the center of controversy after he baptized a Gentle to remove his sins.
Peter's confession did not protect Jesus either. Peter's words did not slacken the slaps, strip away the spit, limit the lashes, throw away the thorns, negate the nails, or restrain the ridicule.
Do problems and difficulties accompany confession?
I will switch from reporting to asking.
Who do YOU think Jesus is?
Put your answer in the comments, please. But be prepared for what WILL COME!