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, Eli'jah; 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." 23 And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.
Meditation: Who is Jesus for you? 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, professed that Jesus is truly the Christ. No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter, but only God. Through the eyes of faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was. He was the first apostle to publicly recognize Jesus as the Anointed One (also translated Messiah or Christ). Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word, Messiah. Peter's faith, however, was sorely tested when Jesus explained that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and die in order that God's work of redemption might be accomplished. How startled the disciples were when they heard this word! How different are God's thoughts and ways from our thoughts and ways! Through humiliation, suffering, and death on the cross Jesus broke the powers of sin and death and won for us our salvation. If we want to share in Christ's victory, then we must also take up our cross and follow him where he leads us. What is the "cross" that I must take up? When my will crosses with God's will, then his will must be done. To know Jesus Christ is to know the power of his death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of faith to know Jesus personally, power to live the gospel faithfully, and courage to witness to others the joy and truth of the gospel. Who do you say that Jesus is?
"Lord, I believe and I profess that you are the Christ, the Son of the
living God. Take my will, my life, and all that I have, that I may
be wholly yours now and forever."