Daily Reflection – 9/29/2023
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Messiah of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. (Luke 9:18-22)
At airports, at doctor’s offices, when cashing a check—so often we are asked to produce our ID. We routinely present our driver’s license or some other form of identification without a second thought. There it is: a card that says who you are.
But you also know that your identity doesn’t really exist on a card. Your identity exists in the web of relationships that define you and sustain you: your parents, your siblings, your close friends, and your children. All of them have helped shape you in ways that no single card could ever contain!
Peter and the others have been following Jesus for some time now, and he has made an indelible mark on them. He has reshaped them to the point that they are committed to following him even to his death.
Just as it did for the first disciples, so too with each of us. Your answer will come from the kind of relationship you have with him. For example, if you say, “Jesus, you are Lord and Savior,” then you’ll do whatever he asks of you. If you say, “You are the way, the truth, and the life,” then you’ll be willing to follow him, even in dark times. If you say, “You are my friend,” then you will trust him in every situation.
What is the essence of following such a Messiah? To be willing to act like him. To be willing to suffer and die for the Gospel, so God can raise the person up on the last day. To be willing to become Christ-like and reject self-centered interests. Especially in these days, we cannot say we believe unless we are living that belief.
The daily cross should not be confused with daily troubles in life. The daily cross was the day-by-day commitment a Christian made to Jesus Christ. The daily cross was not suffering quietly through each day alone. The daily cross was to be like Simon the Cyrene, to help Christ and those in his Body carry the cross that leads to glory.
As you reflect on all of this, remember that when Jesus asks the question, he is also issuing you an invitation: “Stay close to me. Immerse yourself in my love. Spend time with my followers. Your identity will continue to change, and you’ll become more and more faithful to me, just as Peter did.”
Prayer of The Day
“Jesus, you are the Christ! Help me to find my true self in your love!”
To own Jesus as Messiah and Lord is at the very heart of Christianity. And that’s why Jesus zeroes in on this question with His disciples Two millennia later, we are asked the same question every day: “Do I really believe that Jesus is the Messiah?” Well, is He the hinge on which your whole life turns? Is your personal relationship with Him the decisive thing in your life? If so, then you do believe.