Who do you believe the Human One to be? Who, indeed.
Now when Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Human One is?” (Matthew 16:13 CEB)
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” (Matthew 16:14 CEB)
Now while I’ve never heard anyone today claim that Jesus was actually just one of the great prophets from Israel’s past, I’ve heard many people claim may times that Jesus was simply a great teacher or one of those rare, inexplicable charismatic figures that dot human history. Folks who think this way don’t see the Human One as anyone substantially different from other humans past. Disciples, however, see things very differently.
He said, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16 CEB)
To those who believe, Jesus isn’t an instant replay or modern adaptation of someone gone before, but s the walking, talking fulfillment of the promise of someone, altogether fresh and new. He’s not one who merely speaks of bringing God’s ways into our life, but is God himself bringing us to himself who is life. He’s not merely a prophet, but is the fulfillment of the prophecies.
Then Jesus replied, “Happy are you, Simon son of Jonah, because no human has shown this to you. Rather my Father who is in heaven has shown you. I tell you that you are Peter. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17-19 CEB)
People who see the Human One for who he truly is are the truly happy people in this life. They see his church not as a place to go to reinforce good moral values in their children, but as the Human One’s own community of people in this world. They see their life not as something tossed about by chaotic winds that make no sense or as something determined by the dark things in this world, but see instead their life moving forward with God, sailing into the wind, as it were. They see their life not as something far removed from heaven and the God who may or may not be there, but as being in constant, intimate contact with the God who is there, and here.
For you see, the way you see the Human One makes all the difference in the world as to how you see everything in this world.
God of heaven and earth, I do believe. In the name of Jesus, help me overcome my unbelief. Amen.
Question: who do you believe the Human One to be?