Thursday of 4 Lent – March 26, 2020

Read Mark 8:27-9:1

Jesus traveled from Bethsaida to Caesarea Philippi, northeast of the Sea of Galilee.  And from there He will begin His trek south toward Jericho.  Ultimately He will make His way up the mountain from there into Jerusalem.  Now, His eyes and His heart are set on the Holy City, and He knows He needs to prepare His disciples for what is to come.  And so, He asks them, “Who do men say that I am?”  They answer Him with stock replies.  But He probes further.  “But who do you say that I am?”  As yesterday’s reading highlighted, the disciples have had moments of confusion, and maybe even moments of doubt.  Jesus wants to solidify their commitment to Him before they see Him in the Passion.

Every person, at some point in the here or the hereafter, must answer the question posed by our Lord: “Who do you say that I am?”  There is only one acceptable answer:  “You are the Christ.”  Even Peter, who so profoundly answered our Lord’s question, wanted to put his own interpretation on the meaning.  When Jesus explained what it meant to be the Messiah in His Passion prediction, Peter balked.  God forbid!  He protests: That’s not what we are looking for in Messiah.  Nevertheless, we must take our stand in Christ.  Who do you say that Jesus is?

Jesus is inviting us, just as He did His disciples, to follow Him.  And just as He was preparing His disciples for what it meant to follow Him, so the Word, the Holy Scriptures, are telling us plainly, through the Gospel of Mark, that Jesus IS the Christ.  To follow Him is to make the trek to Calvary.  For life is found in Jesus.  Jesus, the Christ, died that we may have life.  “He spoke plainly about this.”  Thy Word is Truth.  We can try, like Peter did, to put our own spin on the Truth.  But, if we do, we should not be surprised if we hear, “Get behind me, Satan.  You do not have in mind the things of God.”  Thy Word is Truth.  Believe!

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