The Scripture Reading this week is Matthew 16:13-28
The sermon title is Who do you say he is?
Early Thoughts: It is one of the key questions for the Christian church. Who is Jesus? In fact many people have made a career in academia trying to answer that question.
Here Simon the Fisherman, Simon who will later (out of fear for his life) deny Jesus 3 times, looks at Jesus and says “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”. True, only a few verses later Simon tries to instruct Jesus on what that means (and what it does NOT mean), but the confession remains.
Then comes the real kicker. To follow this Messiah means taking up your own cross, means placing yourself second to the Kingdom, means risking everything.
The next thing that happens in the story (Matthew 17:1-8) is the Transfiguration. Jesus is revealed in his glory and God says again "this is my Beloved Son". The one Peter has already called the Messiah is now claimed by God. The one who will die, the one who calls his followers to take up their own cross, this is the one who brings God's kingdom into the world.
In that light, are we ready to share Simon Peter's assertion?
Of course then we might have to sort out what it means....