When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16)
Of many moments between Jesus and Peter, this confession of belief and faith is one remembered by the majority of Christians. When Jesus asks of the disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”, He must already know the answer. The responses—John the Baptist, Elijah, even Jeremiah—reveal the spiritual sense of the time. People were looking for a savior but perhaps, not for their souls. Their vision of the anointed one would be like David, a king who would lead them back to national prominence as befitted the people of Yahweh. Jesus asks those closest to Him the same question; do they hold the same nationalistic views? It is here that Peter steps forward as the spokesman to proclaim how the disciples view Him, He is the Christ, the anointed Son of the Living God, someone far beyond the human leader that many others craved.
Jesus asks us the same question. Who is Jesus to you? An insurance policy? A gift giver? Someone to be used as a theological hammer against those who understand Him in a different way? Has this question popped up in your prayer life?
Who is Jesus to you?