Jesus knows everything about us, but he wants us to share with him not only our needs but also our doubts and uncertainties. “Who do you say that I am?”, was not a meaningless question. He was going to dig deep down into the heart of each one of them. Today he repeats the same question to each and everyone of us. It is useless to try to cheat him by searching for words and phrases that will not convey the truth. It is useless to try to take the discourse on to a different level by saying: “Church teaches that…., my catechist told me…, at the school they say…, my parents taught me that…” All those things he knows already.
Now he is asking you, stressing on YOU! Who do YOU say that I am? Who am I for YOU? Leave aside all that you read about Him, all that others have told about Him or all those things you generically remember about Him. Go deep down in to your hearts and find the answer there! Do you love Him? Do you know Him? Do you seek Him? Do you want to follow Him and listen to Him? Is He important to you? Do you give Him first place in your life? Is He at the center of your heart? Do you think that he is someone in your life but you can do without Him? Or is He someone whom you turn to only when you are in need or does He serve you just like a dispensing machine with coins?
Answer Him. His question is there in the air for centuries and it never loses its importance. He will not leave you until you give Him an answer. Those words of Jesus hide an imploration. His voice is almost trembling, He is worried that you may tell Him that you don’t know Him, you don’t care for Him or you don’t love Him. All that He is interested in is to have a personal relationship with you. He is interested only in you, He is interested in all that you think about Him. If the whole world loves Him, praises Him and thanks Him but if you don’t, His joy will not be complete. But He will continue to look at you with tenderness searching for something in you that makes Him feel that you still love Him. This passage teaches that our discovery of Jesus Christ must be a personal discovery.
Jesus’ question is: ‘You – what do you think of me?’ When Pilate asked Him if he was the king of the Jews, His answer was: ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ (John 18:34). Our knowledge of Jesus must never be second hand. Christianity never consists in knowing about Jesus; it always consists in knowing Jesus. Jesus Christ demands a personal verdict. He did not ask only Peter, He asks every one of us: ‘You – what do you think of me?’
Prayer: Jesus how I wish I could let you know that you are everything for me! You are the Son of God, my Savior and my Liberator… but very often I deceive myself by not being faithful to all that you are to me. I wish to answer you with the same enthusiasm and certainty of Peter but you know how I am with my doubts and you know them all. I plead to you with all my heart O Lord, become for me what you really are! I offer myself totally to you because only you alone are worthy to receive me. Make me to choose you as the Lord of my life and follow you every moment of my life. Give me the faith of Peter because I want to give you joy. I want you to be proud of me the way I am of you even though very often I fail to show that. Lord, keep me in the hollow of your hands even in my moments of doubts and uncertainties.