Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”
We answer as best we can: son of God, son of Mary, friend, brother, teacher, Lord, Savior, rabbi, prophet, rebel. We turn to words we know and learned in Sunday School: Christ, Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Sometimes we turn to metaphor: bread, light, life, vine, lion, lamb, shepherd.
Sometimes we choose names and descriptions that make Jesus look like us, turning the son of God in our buddy and pal. Sometimes we choose names that distance him from us, the King who can’t be bothered by the likes of the ordinary you and me. Each name reveals something of him, and something of us. Can one name capture all that it means to be fully divine, fully human, love incarnate. Who is Jesus, to you?
If someone stopped you on the street today, and asked, “Who is Jesus?” how would you answer? Could you draw him, write his essence in poetry or prose? There’s a reason that artists have been trying to capture his likeness, his spirit, his energy, his mission and relationships for centuries. And that’s our question for this Sunday, from Jesus to Peter, the disciples, and you, “Who do you say that I am?”