Thursday, March 31, 2022 | Mark 8: 27-9:1
The Rev. Bonnie-Marie Yager-Wiggan
If you know me, you know I like to ask questions. So I appreciate that Jesus asks questions. He asks a fair few questions in the gospels: what is your name? What do you want me to do for you? Who was this person’s neighbor?
It shouldn’t be surprising then, when Jesus asks, “Who do people say that I am?” It’s a question he poses in the relative privacy of his closest friends. I don’t think Jesus is feeling insecure or is seeking polling data to adjust the message for his next stump speech. Perhaps he is genuinely curious to hear his disciples’ interpretation of the landscape or scuttlebutt. The answers are not too shocking. John the Baptist. Elijah. A prophet.
He then poses what I think is his most important question, “Who do you say that I am?” You who have witnessed everything—the good, the bad, the weird, the confusing, the joyful. You who have seen every miracle, heard every parable (even if you didn’t understand), tread every dusty mile, shared every plate with me–who am I to you?
I wonder if their hearts beat faster, if there was any doubt about how they would each answer.
Peter answers, “You are the Messiah.” But while he understood in part, Peter didn’t fully grasp the implications of following the Messiah. When Jesus then lays it all out–suffering, rejection by their leaders, death, and resurrection–everyone is fearful but only Peter speaks out.
“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus is asking us that today. When he calls us to take up our cross and follow him he lays it all out–suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection. Does that change your answer?
Mo. Bonnie-Marie Yager-Wiggan has served as the assisting priest at Trinity Cathedral since 2021. She and her husband Jamie were both confirmed at the Cathedral in 2018. Mo. Bonnie-Marie enjoys traveling, getting coffee with friends, reading, and watching British detective shows.