Who Do You Say That I Am?
In Mathew Chapter 16, verse 13-16 we find this exchange between Jesus and his disciples:
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi 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 Messiah, 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."
Well, by gosh, Peter got it right this time. A few verses later, Jesus rebukes Peter, telling him:
Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do. (Matthew 16: 23)
I always found this interesting. Peter messes up again because he is thinking like a human being not as God does. Peter is so complex that I could write a whole book on him. Hmm, that gives me an idea.
Anyway, let's get back on track.
We find so often people try to mold Jesus into what they want Him to be. We have a very clear picture of the Man in the gospels. However, many people seem to forget, or dare I say it, ignore the Incarnation.
What is the Incarnation, exactly? Well, here is a statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
. . . the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation . . . The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man.
I know. It's confusing. But Jesus was not impersonating God. He is God. He is not partly God. He was not "closer" to God. He was not a prophet. He IS God. I get it. It's not an easy thing to understand. And if you don't believe it or can't believe it, I get that.
But if you say you are a Christian, then that means you should believe in the Incarnation. If you believe in the Incarnation, then you believe Jesus is God, not just a good person who walked the earth over 2000 years ago.
So now we have people telling the masses that Jesus never spoke about (you can fill in the blank), implying that the fact Jesus never said it, lets us off the hook.
Today, I'm going with Pete Buttigieg (yet another Peter) because he is running for president, is a Christian, and is pro-choice. He has said that Jesus never spoke about abortion. Is that true? Well, there are no recorded conversations between Jesus and his disciples covering the topic of abortion. But do we really need one?
Let's look at the covenant God makes with Noah after the flood:
Indeed for your own lifeblood I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from a human being, each one for the blood of another, I will demand an accounting for human life.
Pretty strong words.
Now, you can believe it or not. But if you say you are a Christian, then this is Jesus speaking. Jesus is God.
There are many other examples, but the point is, God is the author of life. It is very clear from the beginning of human existence that taking the life of another human is against God. Remember Cain and Abel?
Yes, I know all the arguments. A fetus is not a person. It is a clump of cells. It is a woman's right to choose. It is her body. The list goes on. But I want to focus on the word lifeblood. I love words, and isn't that an interesting word.
LIFEBLOOD. Somehow blood and life are united here.
Here is the definition provided by the Cambridge English Dictionary 1. the thing that is most important to the continuing success and existence of something else.
It is simple and to the point. Isn't there evidence of lifeblood in an abortion. It's just something to think about.
So Jesus asks each one of us, "Who do you say that I am?" And I'll go one step further and ask, are we thinking as God does, or as human beings do?