Friday, March 16, 2018

EmmDev 2018-03-16 [Lent2018] Life's biggest question

Life's biggest question

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."      (Matthew16:13-16)
I'd be fascinated to put out a survey to get people's opinion on what "Life's most important question" is.

I think we'd get some of these...

  • What is my purpose?
  • How do I find happiness/fulfilment/peace/hope/success/etc ?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What do I need to do?
  • Who should I marry?
  • etc...
Jesus asks a life-changing question of the disciples:
"Who do you say I am?"

And there are many answers: A prophet, a guru, a wise man, a preacher, a teacher, an example, a guide, a significant influence, and a good man.

There could be negative answers too, like deranged, deluded, manipulative, dishonest, etc but strangely enough none of these negatives stick under a close scrutiny of the narratives about Jesus - critics criticise Christianity, but very few who have looked at the evidence criticise Jesus - most speak with grudging admiration of his ethics and example.

But Peter articulates the core truth:
"You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
Here are thoughts that could keep us busy until Easter:

  • Christ - the long awaited Messiah who will rescue us
  • The Son - part of the God family, obedient to the Father, all of His Divine Majesty squeezed into a human existence, frail, fragile and killable.
  • of the Living God - the Father sends and gives Him to us.

Lent culminates in Easter - the death and resurrection of the One who asks "Who do you say I am?"

Our Lent journey needs to include your own wrestling with this:

  • Is He a historical religious figure at the centre of stories you have heard since childhood?
  • Is He part of a religious outlook you have on life, the custodian of some life-rules that you have?
  • Or... is He the One who shows you what God and love are about
    The One who is powerful enough to save you completely
    The One who conquers death by His own death
    The One who calls you "my daughter" / "my son"
    The One who deserves all your love and allegiance

This is Lent's big question!
I imagine Peter answered this while looking into Jesus' eyes.
So should we...

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I'll be taking some time-out next week.
The eDevs will continue in Holy Week...

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