Gospel – 8/23/20 – Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,“
Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly ordered his disciples
to tell no one that he was the Christ.
What is Jesus saying today?
He knows what awaits him in Jerusalem. He wonders, what are the Apostles hearing from the people about who the people believe him to be.
He gets, what you’d expect, a myriad of answers. People have seen Jesus in different settings. Surrounded by people who long for the Christ. Some who don’t want the Christ because it would harm their place in the power structure. People would definitely see him as different, according to who was advising their formation – Sadducees, Pharisees, other preachers.
So Jesus asks the Apostles the same question.
Peter, the leader, speaks what Jesus was hoping to hear. He knows their time together has been fruitful and he has a “rock” upon which to build the Church on Earth – all the way to you and me.
Peter speaks for us all – I hope – in our belief in Jesus, The Christ.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…