“Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’ They said in reply, ‘John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ Then he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” (LUKE 9:18-20)
“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks His disciples this question. He surely knew what people were saying about Him as they puzzled and gossiped about who He was. With the question Jesus was teaching them to go deeper and reflect on their felt experience of Him as any good spiritual director does. Asking questions is one way of probing deeper into who Jesus is and who we are along the journey of life with Jesus.
As I write this reflection I am remembering the experience of my last year’s retreat. I spent some time reflecting on these words, “Who do you say I am?” My retreat director suggested a new approach. Her suggestion was to reverse the question and ask Jesus the question, “Jesus, who do you say that I am?” For me the usual question of Jesus brought forth the usual responses: “Christ”, “savior” “light of the world”, “peace”, “love”, “ever present God” and so forth. It was very easy to keep myself at a distance and on the level of thinking and giving rote answers to the familiar question of Jesus.
In reversing the question I felt speechless and silent and had no immediate answers, thoughts or feelings. I just sat with the question in front of Jesus. In staying with this and probing deeper with this turn of events, I then got in touch with a variety of feelings. There were feelings of discomfort with this new approach, insecurity and awe. These were followed by feelings of closeness, love, peace, contentment and that we are in this together. It is mutual. This led to a deeper call and re-commitment to relationship with Jesus and our ministry together. I am pleased with this journey and the new energy it is providing.
So for today let us consider reversing the question. Ask, “Jesus, who do you say that I am?” Sit, wait, listen and see where it leads. A surprise gift may await.
Sr. Mary Jaeger
Avera System Member,
ZECHARIAH 12:10-11; 13:1 ● PSALM 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 ● GALATIANS 3:26-29 ● LUKE 9:18-24