"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
My granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is an inventive little soul. She is resting on our couch, watching PBS kids, when I hear, "Gammie! Come sit!"
I pour my coffee and gladly join her. She looks up at me with a twinkle in her eyes and an impish grin on her face.
"I am not your Mommy!" I say exaggeratedly, adding a teasing tickle to her tummy for emphasis. This prompts peals of laughter from Virginia. She likes this game!
"I am not your Daddy!" Again, laughter abounds.
"I am not your Papa!" Now, we are both laughing so hard, we can barely catch our breaths.
When we finally calm down, Virginia looks up at me with those endearing blue eyes, pats my arm gently, and says, "You Gammie."
"That's right, honey. I'll always be your Gammie."
In Virginia's world, I have no other moniker but "Gammie." That is the word which defines, for her, who I am. It also reveals the relationship we share, that of granddaughter and grandmother.
When Jesus asks the disciples, "Who do you say I am?", perhaps He is wondering, after all the miracles, the healings, and the teachings, if His followers truly understand who He is? It's crucial that they do! For Jesus knows His time on earth is growing short. And, He has to prepare His friends for what is to come.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Phillipi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
The replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." (Matthew 16:13-14)
That's not what Jesus wants to hear. He's not concerned with the opinions and speculations of those outside His intimate circle. Jesus wants to know if these men "get" who He truly is.
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15)
And, then, it comes. The defining moment. The relationship revealed . . .
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)
Amen, St. Peter! Amen!
If Jesus stood before you and asked, "Who do you say I am?", what would your answer be?
Will you join me in prayer today?
Thank You, Father, for sending Your only Son, Jesus, into this world to be our Messiah, our Savior, our Deliverer. Because of Him and His sacrifice, we can know You and be in relationship with You. May all the world, in Your perfect timing, come to acknowledge Jesus as Lord of all. Amen.