When Herod the tetrarch heard about what was happening around Jesus’ ministry, he was perplexed and asked, “Who then is this [man]…?” (Lk 9:9). His initial fear that Jesus might be John the Baptist whom he had put to death is seconded by some people who are saying that “John has been raised from the dead” (Lk 9:7). Others who witness Jesus’ miracles and authority to teach compare him with Elijah or one of the ancient prophets. Here, Luke recalls what the crowds think of Jesus. But more importantly, Jesus is asking what the Twelve, the group closest to him, think of him. Who is he for them? Peter answers, “The Christ of God.” Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one of God, foretold by the prophets to be the one to restore the glory of David’s kingdom. Jesus does not deny that he is the Messiah, but he directs the Twelve not to tell anyone. The crowd might be given to frenzy and make him king, and force a revolution against the Romans. Jesus instead sees himself as the suffering Servant of God who will be rejected and be killed, but who will be glorified in his resurrection.
Gospel • LUKE 9:18-22
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?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.