27 Jesus and his disciples headed out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, he asked, “Who do the people say I am?”
28 “Some say ‘John the Baptizer,’” they said. “Others say ‘Elijah.’ Still others say ‘one of the prophets.’”
Lord Jesus--There is the implicit assumption of the resurrection almost a re-incarnation view of it. The idea that the people from the glorious past would be brought back to life and set things right.
The past is just what it is. The past. There are no more glorious, brave or noble people available in the past than are present now. The heroes of the past have made their choices and are taken care of in your economy.
There is religious short hand going on here also...Elijah was to come back before the Messiah. The people were waiting with anticipation for God to move.
The people longed for the heavy hand of Roman oppression to end. They longed to see you work in power. I wonder sometimes if I have that longing in my heart with the same kind of desperation that they had...even if it doesn't look the way I would like it to?
29 He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”
Peter gave the answer: “You are the Christ, the Messiah.”
Lord Jesus--That question is what jumps out of the page at me. Who do I say that you are by my life? Do I say that you are Messiah? Or, a self-help expert...do I say that you the Anointed One of God come to transform and bring victory to those who depend on you? Or, do I say...work harder, plan better, and see what happens.
You came to transform, to release resurrection power into lives open to your leading...not to some kind of workaholic nightmare. There are times when I actually feel as if I get it...the power and wisdom of grace. Usually they are the times when you are pushing me at the boundaries of where I feel comfortable. I can so easily slip into the impression that grace is worked for, owned and rented out.
When really, grace is lived out a step at a time, day after day you are released to work as you see fit. Simple words come to mind...the righteous walk by faith not by sight...work out your salvation with fear and trembling. It is step by step, and day by day that the Spirit continues to work in our lives. I seldom see grace, in vast panoramic views but often in bit size chunks you show what you have done and are already doing.
Give me eyes that are open to seeing your work alive in the world that surrounds me.