“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”
Sometimes in life we have to make decisions. I have to admit, that it’s not something I’m very good at! When confronted with an ice cream freezer in the summer months, what I’d really like to choose is a Magnum – a rich vanilla ice cream enrobed in Belgian chocolate, as the makers would probably describe it. I know that if I’m going to have an ice cream, though, I should really select a low fat choice, because I’m not exactly getting any thinner! Trying to decide where to go on holiday is also always problematic. I know that I should holiday in the UK to keep my carbon footprint down, but I always seem to go galivanting off in a plane half way around the world!
We have to make a decision about Jesus, too. Just as Jesus challenged the disciples to think about who he is, we also have to come to a decision. It’s not enough simply to follow our friends or family. It’s not enough to simply hedge our bets and go along with the whole going to church thing, just to be on the safe side. Ultimately, we have to decide for ourselves who Jesus is. Is he the Christ, as Peter asserts here? Or is he just a good teacher.
C.S. Lewis once said that there are only three options when deciding who Jesus is. He says that he was either mad, bad or God. Mad, because he went around telling everyone that he was the Son of God, and if he wasn’t, you’d have to be pretty crazy to do that. Bad, because if he wasn’t the Son of God, yet claimed to be, he was a downright liar. Or God, because he was telling the truth.
If we decide that perhaps Jesus was neither mad, nor bad, but was in fact God, we have a further decision to make. Do we accept him as our personal saviour, or do we reject him, and decide that we don’t want anything to do with him. Ultimately, this could be the difference between eternal life and eternal damnation. I know which I’d prefer.