Friday 5 February 2021

A simple question


King Herod had heard about Jesus, since by now his name was well known. Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Others said, ‘He is Elijah’; others again, ‘He is a prophet, like the prophets we used to have.’ But when Herod heard this he said, ‘It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead.’

Mark 6:14-17


Armed with a clipboard, if we went into the streets and asked passers by a few questions about who they think Jesus was or is, then we’d get a massive array of opinions. Of course, we could limit the number of different replies by offering multiple choice questions. In the gospel reading, there seems to be a similar divergence in opinions about Jesus. Such is the impression he makes, people compare him to former prophets. Herod, meanwhile, is haunted by the one he has killed, and believes that in Jesus is John the Baptist who has returned from the dead. How does guilt and fear plague him now? Meanwhile, what does Jesus mean to us? Who do we believe that he was or is? An historical figure or a living Lord? A person of the past or a present reality? And how ready are we to respond to those who enquire about him? How does the way we live, give witness to Jesus? Is he rogue or Redeemer? A social worker or Saviour? As Jesus would later ask his apostles, “Who do you say that I am?”


God our Father, help us to reveal Christ to others, to witness to his love and share his life through the way we live and all that we are called to do today. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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