23.09.2022 — Paradoxical Messiah

25th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 23rd September 2022 — Gospel: Lk 9,18-22

Paradoxical Messiah

In the second question to the disciples, Jesus once again asked, “Who do you say that I am?” This shows that on the one hand, the crowds answer about the understanding of Jesus are inadequate and on the other hand, Jesus wants to unfold the correct understanding of himself to his disciples. Thus, Jesus links Peter’s proclamation of Messiahship to His future suffering, death, and resurrection, something which the disciples were not expecting. From the Old Testament times, Jewish people were constantly awaiting the coming of the Messiah – the promised anointed one of God. Their understanding of the role of Messiah varied over the centuries. Most of the Hebrew faithful believed that the Messiah would be a liberator who would throw off any form of oppression and set the people free of foreign powers. This vision saw the Messiah as a military leader. With the great military might would also come a new sense of healing for those who were sick, freedom for the captives, a sense of justice for those who were unjustly treated. Some others were hoping that the Messiah would bring about a spiritual renewal and return to orthodoxy. These people were of the opinion that the Jewish faith has been watered down and has lost its past authenticity. They wanted a return to the faith of yesteryear. Very few Jewish people envisioned the Messiah as a person who would lift the level of faith to a new plane and empower believers to have a deeper and more personal relationship with God. Thus, it was beyond their imagination to think that Messiah would be divine and human at the same time. And it was totally beyond their understanding and unthinkable that the Messiah would suffer and die.