Thursday, September 23, 2010

WHO AM I ? SEPTEMBER 24TH - FRIDAY (Lk 9: 18-22)

1. Jesus has a short evaluation with his disciples. He wanted to know what people think about him. Some think that He is John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah etc. By identifying Jesus with Elijah the prince among the prophets, the greatness of Jesus is revealed. He is considered as the forerunner of the Messiah.

2. Each Gospel has its own version of the saying of Peter
· You are the Messiah, the son of the living God (Mt)
· You are the Messiah (Mk)
· The Messiah of God (Lk)
Messiah in Hebrew, Christ in Greek means the same ‘the Anointed one’

3. Christ must be a personal discovery. Christianity always consists in knowing Jesus not merely knowing about Jesus.

4. Peter’s confession is the foundation of the church. There are a lot of debates on the meaning of this declarative statement. “You are Peter (petros) and on this rock (petra) I will build my church. No matter how a person interprets, this was a great piece of complement to St. Peter.

5. A note on Church: Church (ekklesia) means to call out a gathering, an assembly. It is God who calls together and gathers His church. His church is the body of people called out from the world by Him. They are His body of people sanctified or set apart by Him to form the church of the living God.
· The church is Christ’s not human beings’
· ‘I will build’ Christ builds the Church
· The gates of Hades will not overcome it, Christ Himself protects the Church.

Who do men say that I am? Who is Jesus for me?
To the artist, he is the one altogether lovely (Song of songs, 5,15)
To the architecht, the chief corner stone (I Pet.2, 6)
To the astronomer, sun of righteousness (Malachy, 4,2)
To the banker, hidden treasure (Mt 13, 44)
To the builder, one foundation (Is.26,16)
To the carpenter, door (Jn. 10, 7)
To the doctor, great physician (Jer.8, 22)
To the educator, great teacher (Jn. 3, 2)
To the engineer, new and living way (Hb.10, 20)
To the farmer, sower and Lord of harvest (Lk, 10, 2)
To the florist, rose of Sharon (song of songs (2, 1)
To the geologist, rock of ages ( I Cor.10, 4)
To the horticulturist, (True Vine, Jn.15,1)
To the judge, only righteous judge of men (Tim.4,8)
To the juror, Faithful and true witness (Revel.3, 14)
To the jeweller, Pearl of great price (Mt.13, 46)
To the lawyer, counsellor, lawgiver, true advocate (Is.9, 6)
To the newspaper man, he is tidings of great joy (Lk,2,10)
To the oculist, light to the eyes (Prov.29, 13)
To the philanthropist, unspeakable gift (2 Cor,9.15)
To the philosopher, Wisdom of God (ICor.9, 24)
To the preacher, Word of God (Rev.19, 13)
To the sculptor, living stone (I Pt.2, 4)
To the servant, good master (Mt.23, 8-10)
To the statesman, desire of the Nations (Haggai, 2. 7)
To the student, Incarnate Truth (I Jn.5, 6)
To the theologian, author and finisher of faith (Hb, 12,2)
To the toiler, giver of rest (Mt.11, 28)
To the sinner, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn.1, 29)
(From 101 more Hymn stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck)

1. Keys are the emblems of authority and this language was addressed to Peter because of the Power that was to be conferred on him. He was to organize, toil, and manage the affairs of kingdom as the Head, of course not absolutely but under Christ the Head. Among the Jews when a scribe was admitted to his office a key was given to him as the symbol of duty he was expected to perform. Christ reproved the Rabbis and Pharisees of his day for having taken away the key of knowledge and for shutting up the kingdom of Heaven against people i.e. try to lock good people out.

2. Peter great shall be the authority of your decisions, that unlike those of the ordinary schools or Rabbis whatsoever you shall declare lawful shall be held lawful, whatsoever you shall declare unlawful shall be held unlawful in the highest tribunal in heaven.

3. The Jewish scribe kept the treasury of Knowledge. His keys were his powers of reading, understanding and applying the law. He was the expositor of God’s word, the interpreter of God’s mind, the commentator on courses, the teacher of truth that made know to him by God. He loosed men’s minds and wills from any bondage. What the Jewish scribe with the keys of knowledge and truth and duty was to the law, the Church should be to the kingdom of God.

4. We must remember when this great prophecy was spoken in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, among the most remarkable rock – scenery of the Holy Land, possibly under the shadow of the high red limestone cliff which covers the town. The summit of which was crowned by the white marble temple built by Herod in honour of Augustus. This temple with its blasphemous dedication was an outrage in the eyes of the holy son of God; the temple which he would build was wholly different – most stable and abiding.

5. Peter is called ‘rock’ – Simon is said to have been called Peter. In Greek there is a play of the name Petros and the word Petra (rock). In Aramaic the play is more perfect on kepha – peter/cephas; may not have been a proper but rather a nick name, which perhaps had some connection with Peter’s personal characteristics (Rocky)

Jesus Christ’s most pertinent question is “Who do you say?” All of us have an obligation to answer this question. This should not come from our learning but from our personal experience. If we are answering this question basing on the speculative knowledge we have about Christ, we might be actually answering his first question “Who do people say I am?” Only when we answer the second question rightly we can help others to understand the identity of Jesus. In simple words we need to spend time in prayer with the Lord in order to preach the good news effectively.

The pulpit Commentary
The Great texts of the Bible
Sacra Pagina Series
William Barclay‘s Commentary
Preacher’s outline and Sermon Bible

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