Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

As I mentioned in introducing the Gospel, it’s kind of a confrontation because Jesus is demanding of his disciples after he’s been with them for maybe a year, year and a half, close to two years: “Who do you really think I am? What do people say about me?” You heard the answers, but then he confronts them directly: “Well, OK, who do you say I am?”

As we know, God’s word is a living word, so Jesus is saying that to each of us this morning: “Who do you say Jesus of Nazareth is?” It makes a huge difference. If he’s just a good person going around doing a lot of good things, that’s one thing, but if he really is the Messiah, the Christ, the son of the living God, well then, that should make a huge difference if we recognize that and say, “Yes, he is the Christ, the son of the living God.” It should mean, once we really recognize that, extraordinary changes in our lives.

If you look in Matthew’s Gospel for this same event, the same challenge that Jesus presents, it’s drawn out a little bit more, and you get a better understanding of the kind of challenge that it is. In Matthew’s Gospel, after Peter speaks up and says, “You are the Christ, the son of the living God,” Matthew says, “From that day, Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, that he would suffer many things from the Jewish authorities, and that he would be killed.”

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