There is a threat, and a promise in Isaiah, the poet and prophet who spoke more than a thousand years before the birth of Jesus; and it still lays on our minds today. Isaiah holds before us that, “The Earth will wear out like a garment.” And, also ...my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.” A threat that things change in a way we may not like. And yet, a promise of salvation and deliverance, is offered, too. That is what God offers to those who know Him.
Paul talking to the Christians of Rome, and asking them to change their ways from the pagan attitudes of that world; and to take up the moral teachings, the renewing of their minds, so they may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable, and perfect. His advice is offered once again to the people of this day who claim some fealty to God and Christ. Seek what gifts you were given to share with others; for all have gifts, and all should have the pleasure of sharing them; and all may benefit from what God has poured out.
Jesus had been traveling with his chosen disciples for a good while; and he had been constantly teaching them, trying to have them come to understand just who he was. He wanted them to reach a discernment by themselves; an awakening, if you will.
When they came to the district of Caesarea Philippi he decided to ask, to question and determine if they had any concept of who this person they were so willing to follow actually was. And so, he asked them, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
And they answered and said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” It was evident from those answers there was a lot of guessing going on among the common people they had encountered.
Then he asked, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
It was a statement which rose quickly and flew from the heart of Simon Peter, and immediately brought understanding to Jesus, that a turning point had been reached in the teaching of these men; an understanding had formed in their minds that changed the direction of their journey together. They now understood who he was by their own cognition. They were accompanying God’s only son. With this established, they now journeyed toward Jerusalem. The Question still remains for you to answer; who do you say Jesus is? Amen.
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.