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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ordinary 21A Matthew 16:13-20 Who is this guy anyway?

Well, I've said that many times. Who is this Jesus anyway? What in the world does he expect of me and how does his life lived 2000 years ago relate to mine.

In a class I've been teaching recently, my students decided that Jesus must have been killed because he was just too good. I agreed. That was one reason. As Plato said hundreds of years before Jesus, the world could not handle a truly righteous (good) man. We couldn't. What happens when we meet someone whose behavior makes ours look bad? We usually hate them.
When someOne came to earth long ago and behaved in a way that made everyone around him look bad, many around him decided he must die.

In this passage known as Peter's Confession at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks his disciples "Who do the people say that I am?" If Jesus was living today, he could just simply Google his name like the politicians do to see what people think of them. However, he asked for hearsay...didn't he? Or was he probing to see if his disciples had "gotten it" yet that he was more than just a good buddy to take fishing.

Peter's confession echoes throughout history: through the Basilicas to the Camp Meetings...from the priests to the baptized babies...from the mountains to the waters...from the prisons to the palaces..."YOU ARE THE CHRIST THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD."

No other words have shaken the foundations of the world as these did. Yet if they shook the world and continue to shake them, then why is our world not changed?

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