my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
Here it is – the question which we all must answer.
This is where objective reality meets our own personal subjectivity – it is a meeting that often leaves us uncomfortable.
When they are asked ‘who do people say that I am?’, the disciples are not at all troubled and easily come forth with a variety of responses. For them it is merely a relaying of other people’s opinions – it doesn’t require them to commit to one view or another. It is only when Jesus directs the question to them personally that it becomes troubling.
It is at this point where the disciples are forced to take ownership of their opinion as to who he really is.
This is the bloke who, you’d remember, they’d all given away everything to follow. They obviously have some understanding that he’s a unique individual, an exemplary teacher and worker of miracles – they had witnessed all this first hand.
Now however they are asked to state definitively what they believe of him, and it is here that they are troubled.
Our words are strikingly powerful. Sometimes we think that they are nothing, but this is quite simply not so. With our words we can commit our lives to another, when we marry for example. With words we can build up or tear down. With words we can alter our own perception of and engagement with reality itself.
This moment recorded in the Scriptures is one such moment where the power of words becomes blatantly obvious.
Peter steps forward and states rather boldly ‘You are Messiah.’ Simple words of tremendous significance.
Peter’s acknowledgement of this objective truth is a commitment of his entire subjective person to this reality, namely – Jesus is Lord.
Knowing what I know about what is taught and believed about Jesus, who do I say that he is?
What impact does this belief have on my stance towards him?