On Sunday, our text was Matthew’s version of the Transfiguration. The basic idea is that Jesus’ divinity is displayed in full….for readers of Matthew, if you had any doubts who Jesus was to this point, you can put those to rest!
The other story that accompanied this text was the story where Peter scolds Jesus for saying that he must suffer, be crucified, and die. Jesus scolds Peter right back, and give us the classical verses that I think Christian and non-Christian have heard in some form or another: “Whoever wants to be my disciple, let them deny themselves, pick up their cross and follow me.” “Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life in my name will find it.”
Question is: what does this all mean?
There are a lot of answers out there….figure out what your cross is to bear, give away a worldly life for a salvation in a spiritual one, and so forth. I guess there is a greater question to be considered:
Who do you say that I am?
This question comes about 14 verses earlier….after asking Jesus who people are saying the Son of Man is, he asks them a very personal question: Who do you say that I am? Who is Jesus….to you?
This is a challenging question because it calls us into the place of vulnerability, honesty, and relationship. This question is a relational one – who is God to you? It calls you beyond correct, but impersonal answers like “Lord and Savior; Son of God, etc.” It calls you to consider your life and what Jesus means to you.
I think that is an important question for you all to consider this week. When we talk about the cross or losing our lives or Transfiguration, it only truly makes sense when we consider who Jesus is in relationship. We are above all reminded that Christian faith is a way of life in which we are invited into the relational life with God and neighbor.
That’s the question before you today: “Who do you say that Jesus is?” Such a deeply personal question…..one that shapes your relationships with family, friends, coworkers; one that shapes how you live in the world honestly and authentically.
So I’d invite you to consider your own personal story…..a time when Jesus became more than just a name on Sundays, the second article of the Creed. Remember when Jesus invited you into this relational life of faith with him, and it changed you personally.
Share your story by commenting here or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise to keep full-confidentiality through out!