But Who Do You Say That I Am?

“But who do you say that I am?”
A reflection on Luke 9:18-22 
Friday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

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

Peter’s Confession About Jesus

“But who do you say that I am?”

“The Christ of God” (Ton Christon tou Theou).

Christos means “Anointed One” or “Messiah,” from the Hebrew mashiach—the long-awaited priest-king and Son of David foretold by the prophets. Ancient priests, kings, and prophets were anointed with sacred oil to consecrate them for their divinely-appointed role. 

While the crowds were puzzling over the mystery of Jesus’ identity, Peter received a flash of insight from “my heavenly Father” (Matthew 16:17).

“You are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:16 (Complete Jewish Bible)

The enigma of Jesus eluded the crowds.
Peter recognized the Christ like sun from rainclouds.

Related posts: 

Herod’s Perplexity 
The Mystery Begins to Be Revealed
Our Lady of Sorrows and the Mystery of Christ

3 Replies to “But Who Do You Say That I Am?”

  1. Dear GMC, Your reflection reminds me that our answer to Jesus’ question is what makes us Christians. And our answer can be found in the Nicene creed that we recite every Sunday and holy day. Praise be the name of Jesus Christ, now and forever.

  2. The answer to the question “Who do you say I am?” is, I believe, one that changes over each of our lifetimes. As a child in Catholic school, it was as simple and profound as Peter’s declaration. You’re Christ…You’re God. As the world got its clutches into me, it became more of “I don’t know…who are you, really?” The journey to that answer has made up most of my life. And it brought me right back to Peter’s pivotal moment…He is the Christ, the son of the Living God. I am grateful for the journey, and always totally humbled by the answer.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Theresa. May the Lord speak to us through personal encounter to draw us to himself, and may we be attentive listeners.

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