When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
If anything the historical person Jesus of Nazareth claimed about himself is true, then he is the most significant human ever to live. I happen to believe everything he said about himself, and consequently that the fact of his being is the most significant fact about all history, all reality. That, along with a lot of massive implications, is who I say Jesus is with my intellect and my words. I've thought about it a lot, as most of you will know. I'm convinced. I believe.
And yet: Do I? How should I live if I believe this? How does my awareness of the fact of Jesus shape my life?
I wonder about this every time I hear this reading. It might be the most uncomfortable line in the Gospel for me.