Jesus is now being public with His intentions. He’s making claims that rightfully should shock His listeners, unless of course they’re true. The guy in the room who claims to be God and is, you would expect that everything now is going to change. So Jesus is not only training His disciples, telling His story, but also slowly and methodically moving toward Jerusalem where He pushes the religious elite into a corner where they have to come after Him.
One of the most poignant and pointed questions in this passage is when Jesus looks at Peter and says, “Others have left me. Will you leave me too?” And we have to give it to Peter here. For all the times he got it wrong, this time he got it right, in spades. He looked at Jesus and said, “Where can we go, because we believe and know that you are the Son of God?”
Here is a beautiful and balanced view of belief. We believe in our heart and our spirit, with our emotions, whatever you want to call it, but that part of us that makes us human; and we know in our mind, that part of us that helps inform our emotional decisions and makes sure that we make wise ones.
As you consider this week’s passage, ask yourself these questions. How do we tell this radical story in a cynical world? How do we help confront the world with the truth that Jesus is God in human form, that He has come to rescue the world, that He is the Messiah, He is God’s first and last answer for the hope of the world? How do we tell this in a way that helps people consider it, believe it, and know it as Peter did? And how do we answer the objections of those who call attention to all the weird and goofy stuff that has grown up around the American church to obscure and hide the true simplicity?