Prayer for the day
Lord, let the light of your face shine on us.
Scripture for the day
It’s the perennial question that plagues teenagers and seniors alike. It’s the reason middle-aged men buy expensive, flashy cars when they should be worrying about putting food on the table. It’s a question of identity. Who am I?
The question of identity never really leaves us. It plagues us anew with every fresh change in life. A new job, wife, or child will call into question who we are, who we’ve become.
Jesus seemed fairly certain of who he was. Instead of an identity crisis himself, Jesus’ followers had a hard time. They couldn’t figure out who this traveling preacher and healer really was. Jesus asks Peter who people say he is. Peter answers with a few different personas. Then Jesus hits him with the big question: who do you say I am?
Joshua likely went through a bit of an identity crisis himself. He was a leader, and had the spirit of leadership. But he wasn’t the leader of all the people until Moses got the word from God. Joshua went from being just another guy to being the leader of the people. A change like that would be hard to take. Perhaps that’s why God has Moses announce his leadership in front of the people and has it blessed by the priest. Perhaps God knows exactly what’s going through Joshua’s mind, and makes sure that all the people see and affirm his identity. It makes it harder to question later!
Peter’s answer is the same kind of affirmation Joshua received. “You are the messiah.”
This is no simple affirmation. Like Joshua, this is a big title. Jesus is no simple preacher. Jesus is the anointed one of God, sent to save his people. This realization in Peter has incredibly wide-ranging consequences. And it’s only after he declares this that Peter starts to see exactly what this identity entails.
Do we have eyes to see the identity of the Lord, and our own identity, wrapped up in his. If Jesus is the messiah, saving his people, doesn’t that make us his people? What an enormous identity. It’s a game changer.