If there is one question that demands an answer, this has to be it. This is the question Jesus asked of the disciples and Peter responded with Messiah. Was he right? Of course he was. However titles, as Peter and the others would soon learn, come with consequences. You can’t simply call Jesus “Messiah” and go on with life confident you have passed the big oral exam question. Jesus’ response wasn’t to give Peter praise for coming up with the correct answer. Jesus seems to be saying, “That’s good and all but do you know what you are saying? There will be persecution… There will be a cross… There will be a putting aside of personal aspirations.” Yes Peter, you have the answer but do you know the cost of such a claim?
We live in interesting times where words have come to lose some of their meaning. We are told that truth isn’t always the truth. If reality doesn’t fit our agenda, we use alternative facts. The motto truly does seems to be, “What is true for me, is true for me. What is true for you, is true for you.” Any wonder that society seems so polarized and chaotic? Words have lost their meaning and truth is lost.
Jesus is informing the disciples that words do matter and they still have power. He was going to be betrayed and killed and after three days rise again. This is serious. Peter and anybody else declaring Jesus to be ‘Messiah’ had better heed their words because they carry consequences and blessing. They can bring death or life. They can leave us stuck with what is or let us find life in the Kingdom.
So, who is Jesus to you? Contrary to what is happening in society, words still do have meaning. How you respond does carry a cost. What say you?