Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Who Do You Say That I Am?

John Dear writes a wonderful reflection on this question that Jesus asks his disciples in this week’s reading–Who do you say that I am?”–in his book “The Questions of Jesus: Challenging Ourselves to Discover Life’s Great Answers”:

But who do you say that I am? 

Some say this question is THE question of the whole gospel. After asking his friends who others say he is, Jesus asks them point-blank, “But who do you say that I am?” He asks this question with love, respect, and hope. The disciples have witnessed his miraculous healings, his liberating exorcisms, his dynamic preaching, and his warm presence. They know he is out-of-the-ordinary. At one point, they see him calm a violent storm at sea and literally silence the wind. But they do not know who he is. “Who is this that even wind and sea obey?” they ask each other in wonder and disbelief.


But now Jesus wants to know what they think. He wants to hear them name him, identify him, choose him. He puts them on the spot. “Who do you say that I am?”

At some point along our faith journey, Jesus turns to each one of us, as well, and asks us this same question. “Who do you say that I am?”

Each one of us needs to spend time with this question. We can imagine the gentle eyes of Jesus looking at us, smiling with his usual loving kindness, and hoping for our faith and loving affirmation. He knows who he is because he heard call him, “my Beloved.” And he knows who we are, that God calls each one of us God’s own beloved sons and daughters. But he knows too that we do not yet understand any of this, so he tries to draw us out, to lead us to the truth, to help us figure it out.

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  • Elinor Dandrea

    How can we not know who He IS?
    He is the Good in all who keep their word. Who love unselfishly. Who care and respect others, not for self interest , but for the true love of God.

  • marilyn

    he is my strength in times of weakness,the true son of god the one that died for allof are sins.

  • Cully

    I agree with Elinor… when we look at his teachings, his life, his love of G-d then we should be asking, “Who do I say I am?”
    Blessings and hugz!

  • Emerald

    A thought provoking question with roots that run deep, indeed. We can know who He is by searching the Scriptures and accepting Him by His Word through Faith. He is bigger than anything we can imagine. He is a present help in the time of need. Regardless to how bleek the situation may seem, He will never forsake me or leave me alone. When troubles arise, as they oftentimes will, we can rest assured He has everything in control and that when we acknowledge Him in all our ways He will surely direct out paths. Who do I say He is? He is everything I will ever need, and all He needs from me is obedience.
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to post this.

  • Gail

    I struggle so hard to believe that, that I am the beloved daughter. Why is this so hard to believe? It runs counter to childhood indoctrination and cultural stuff.
    What to do? I spend time with people who believe in me, and with a spiritual guide with whom I can share and discuss anything, and who really seems to think I’m not only OK, but – Beloved. What a beautiful word that is!

  • Nyya

    A question that I had asked while in seminary and sitting in the library before an artist’s renditon of the crucified Christ. Looking up at the beautiful work of art, I asked Christ, “who do YOU say that I am?” It is a question that begs to be answered with each days passing and which defines my journey in this life.
    I recently stumbled across a small book in my bookcase while redecorating the other day. I didn’t recall buying it and staring at the cover, thought that it was time to read more and now seemed a good time to begin.
    I opened the book and inside I read the hand written inscription. the book which I hadn’t read was a seminary graduation gift from a dear friend, (I graduated in 2003).
    The book truly is a gift in that I need to read the book now in my life. I offer this small but most important book to you…as we look to find our place, our identity, who we are called to be in this broken world…
    “Life of the Beloved – Spiritual Living in a Secular World” by Henri J. M. Nouwen
    May the Lord’s peace be with you now and always.

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