(Luke 9: 18-24) Whenever we hear Jesus ask a question, it should make us stop and think, “Why is He asking this?” For if Jesus is really God, doesn’t He already know the answer? Yet time and again in the Gospels, we hear Jesus posing questions to His disciples. It’s part of His teaching style, and understanding this will help us get to the heart of what Jesus wants us to learn.
This week, He asks, “Who do the people say that I am?” He listens to the disciples’ responses, but then goes on to ask a much more important question: “But who do you say that I am?” (Lk 9: 20). Jesus certainly knows what the people are saying about Him, who they believe Him to be. But if we are to be His followers, our answer must be different. In other words, are we going to identify with the people – the world – or are we prepared to stand alone?
The fact is, many people – even pagans and atheists – have no problem stating that Jesus was a great prophet. So we must be clear on this: who is Christ to us and what place does He have in our lives? If we are to be His followers, we must be ready to not only profess that He is Lord, but to also accept the cost of discipleship. Jesus tells us that if we choose to follow Him, the path we must walk will be one of suffering, rejection, and even death – perhaps not physical death, but certainly death to self. The demands of our Christian existence – our daily crosses – will challenge us in many ways. Let’s face it, there are no shortcuts to heaven! But with Jesus by our side, the destination is eternal glory.
– Kelley Holy