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The Jesus Question


Several years ago I was in Israel with a group of pilgrims, walking where Jesus walked. On the second day of our trip we found ourselves at the ruins in Caesarea Philippi. Our guide’s name was Nedal. He was learned and wise. He knew the region and history, but you could also tell that for him it was personal. His teaching on that day entranced me. He brought the following story from Matthew’s Gospel to life, and I have been pondering it in new ways ever since. Jesus was walking with his disciples in the district of Caesarea Philippi when he asked them two questions. The first question was: “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:13–20). The second question Jesus asked was: “But who do you say that I am?” This is the Jesus question. Who do you say that Jesus is? Not who do your parents or teachers, spouse, pastor, or friends say that Jesus is, but who do you say he is? This is the inescapable question about the unavoidable Jesus. Sooner or later, we each have to proclaim for ourselves who we think Jesus is. Matthew Kelly

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