“Who do you say that I am?”
Jesus asked this question of his disciples, and He continues to ask it today. It echoes through the ages, like a resounding bell. It is a rock that never erodes, over which everyone will stumble.
It is undoubtedly the single most important question we will ever answer.
I’m not sure what happens if we simply ignore the question, if we just turn a deaf ear. Perhaps it fades until we can no longer hear it. I’m guessing, however, that to choose not to hear is, in effect, an answer. To reply in any way other than Peter did is to endure a death that never really dies.
But if, like Peter, we profess Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, more questions will follow. Question after question will find its way into our hearts and minds every single day, and each one will hinge on our answer to that first question.
“Who do you say that I am?” is the consummate question.
The second question, “If you believe that I am the Christ, now what?” is like it.
No, you won’t find Jesus explicitly asking that question anywhere in the gospels. But it is implied repeatedly, as the follow-up to the consummate question. And Jesus asks it of us again and again. When we tune our hearts to His voice, each time we are about t0 make a decision about what to do or what to say, we hear Him ask that question. And slowly but surely, our life is changed, transformed into something more, something much better than it was before or would have been otherwise.
However we choose to answer the consummate question, the implications are life-changing. To answer as Peter did, “You are the Christ,” is to grapple with the second question for a lifetime. But the prize for getting the right answer is truly priceless.