Scripture: “but you” he asked them again, “who do you say that I am?” – Mark 8:29
Theological Thought: Jesus is pushing his disciples here to answer a question they likely have been asking themselves. “Who exactly is Jesus?” While Jesus is usually seen to be careful when discussing his divinity, he is asking the disciples to reflect on all they have seen and heard – all they have seen him do and all they have heard others say – and make a judgment.
Reflection: Lately as I’ve been reading the bible, I’ve been projecting myself into the
story by asking myself the question: who do you relate to in this passage? Who is it that I identify with in that circumstance and what can Holy Spirit teach me through that? Usually in gospels I identify with the disciples: these bumbling idiots who don’t usually know what’s going on and are pretty much along for the ride while Jesus is being awesome. That is not the case in this passage however. I identify with Jesus and the disciples both. So often I get caught up in the lie that I am what I do, and I forget to talk to Jesus about it. This passage resonates with me because I am at once in the role of Jesus AND the disciples. At first I feel like Jesus asking “who am I?” then answering like the disciples “Some call you a webmaster, others call you the finance guy. Some say you are a Jack of All Trades.” But those are all things that I do, these are the masks I wear, not necessarily who I am. So I struggle and do and ask “who am I?!” only to hear Jesus whisper (usually after an hour or two of asking) “Tell me first who you think I am. Come to know me and then I’ll show you who you are.” The simple truth that is so very difficult for so many of us to understand, is that we cannot understand ourselves, without first coming to understand who our Lord is.
Prayer: Oh Lord, reveal yourself to me. Teach me who you are. Then show me who you say that I am.
Practice: Read the Gospel of John and identify all the Jesus “I am” statements and put into your own words what these statements say about the kind of person Jesus is. Then look for ways these words match with Jesus’s actions or behaviors in the Gospels. Build a profile about Jesus as you would a popular person in our world. Discover what you find there and then ask Jesus to tell you what His profile of you is.