If you had to respond to Jesus that day on the road outside Galilee, how would you describe Jesus? Now think about how you would introduce Jesus to your friends.
I’ve always perplexed over the disciples’ response that some say Jesus was John the Baptist. Followers of John would have heard the message that someone else was coming, far greater than John himself. In fact, it was John’s job to prepare the way for Jesus, not himself.
I suppose that plays into the “misunderstanding” many had, as we reflected on in a previous passage. But Peter gets it right! He proclaims that Jesus is the Messiah. After that, “Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.”
Peter’s confession is bold and true. Jesus is the Messiah. Messiah would be the Hebrew term for anointed one. Other translations read “the Christ,” which would be the Greek term for the anointed one. Because Jesus identified as the Christ, his followers are then identified to be Christian.
We’ve seen before how Jesus wants people to not reveal his true identity or what he has accomplished. Many healed people were told to keep quiet, but I doubt many did. Yet, when the time is right, Jesus will also ask his disciples, and us, to go make other disciples, sharing the good news with those who don’t know about Jesus’ saving grace.
It’s all in the timing. At this moment, Jesus was giving them the “hush order.” They didn’t fully understand what the title “Messiah” truly meant. By their faith, the disciples forever secured a special relationship with Jesus and with the followers to come.
Think again about your talking points when it comes to Jesus. What are some of the ways you can describe his love, his sacrifice, his power? It’s always helpful to use personal experience. How has Jesus touched your life? When have you seen Jesus working in your life? God is moving all the time. Take time to watch and see.
Let’s pray. Lord, still my heart and calm my spirit so that I can see you more clearly. Help me to better understand who you are and what you want me to do in your name. You have the whole world in your hands. It is my prayer that more and more people in the world will recognize you as the Christ, the one anointed by God to save. In Jesus’ name. Amen.