Messiah: Episode 9
Clip: 16:12 – 18:07
Old Testament: Exodus 3:1-14
New Testament: Matthew 16:13-20
The exchange between Jesus and his disciples in Matthew 16 regarding his identity is a turning point in the Gospel. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” It’s the same question Eva wrestles with in this clip from Messiah. Who is Jesus? The answer to that question is at the heart of the Christian faith. It is the foundation of our creed. This clip again plays with the idea from C.S. Lewis that we reviewed a few weeks ago: Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. Eva seems to be waffling between seeing him as a lunatic (considering his time in the mental ward) or a liar with nefarious intentions (as part of a terrorist group). She can’t bring herself to believe that he is anything more.
The scene plays out similarly to the moment in Caesarea Philippi when Jesus asks his disciples about this. “Who am I?” the question just kind of lingers out there. Some people say this, some people say that – but, Jesus asks them, “What about you? Who do you say that I am?” This cuts to the chase and gets at the heart of the matter. When we can see through the many other distractions that religion and theology and the church and other Christians can put in our way, we remember at the heart of our faith is: What do you believe about Jesus?
The average person doesn’t spend a lot of time assessing the core values and beliefs that largely determine how they act. We all have them, we all know that we have them, but seldom do we actually go through and consider them anew. Especially as we get older. Those things seem to be pretty well settled. We know how we will vote, we know the way we will raise our children, we know the kinds of things we will watch and wear, we know the kinds of people we will associate with, we know the kinds of places we will go, we even know the kinds of food we will eat. Unless we are forced to get out of our comfort zone (almost always against our will – kind of like the way our world has been disrupted by the corona virus in recent weeks), we are pretty settled in ourselves. Sure, we know we don’t have it all figured out, but how often are we actually willing to admit we are wrong? How often are we willing to subject ourselves to critique – even personal critique?
Today, spend some time with the words of the Apostle’s Creed shared on the next page. Imagine yourself sitting down in that circle with the disciples as Jesus asks you pointedly – what about you? What do you believe? Read the words of the Apostle’s Creed and assess how you affirm those words in your daily life. How do these things make a difference? Offer a confession to God for the ways that you do not live up to that which you have been called (1 Peter 2:21-25).
THE APOSTLES CREED
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit;
Born of the Virgin Mary;
Suffered under Pontius Pilate;
Was crucified, dead and buried;
He descended into Hell;
The third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven;
And sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
The Holy Christian Church,
the Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body;
And the life everlasting. Amen.