Jesus began to show his Talmudim that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the presbyters, the chief Cohen, and the grammarians, die and rise on the third day.
Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “May it go well for you, Kyrie! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
Jesus turned and informed Peter, “Get behind me, you Great Accuser! You are an obstacle to me. You do not think the of God, but the of man.”
Jesus informed his talmudim, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life. What can one give in exchange for his life? Ben Adam will come with his messengers in the good thoughts of his Father, and will repay all according to his conduct.”
When Jesus went into the region of Caesar Philippi he asked his Talmudim, “Who do people say that Ben Adam is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter replied, “You are Messiah, Ben Elohim Chaim.”
Jesus remarked, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. I say to you, you are Cephas, and upon this rock/Cephas I will build my church. The gates of Sheol shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus strictly ordered his Talmudim to tell no one that he was the Messiah.
Father Joseph Kim gave the homily at Mass today at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno Nevada. The homily was an excellent one. Instead of taking the usual route with interpreting the Gospel, the one that points out the Peter is Greek for Rock, and Jesus builds us church upon the rock, which is Peter, Father Joseph gave homily on the question that Jesus asks each of us.
Jesus asks each of us, “Who do you say that I am?” Someone else had asked the same question about Jesus. In Mark 6 King Herod asked the same question, “King Herod heard about it, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Others commented, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”
When Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”
In this context Jesus Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter replied, “You are Messiah, Ben Elohim Chaim.” מָשִׁיחַבְּנ אֱלֹהִיםחַיָּה
Father Joseph correctly pointed out that what Jesus was asking was who he was, the same way any of us might ask someone who they think we are. Joseph pointed out he might expect someone to say, “Father Joseph, you are a priest.” The obvious next statement is, “That is nice; what is a priest?” Another next statement is, “That is nice; what differentiates me from other priests?”
Luke 7:44 presents the story of Simon the Pharisee, who may or may not have been Simon Cephas/Peter. In that passage Jesus asks Simon, “Simon, do you see this woman?” Jesus may well be asking the same question of Simon as he asks who Ben Adam is. That is the very essence of Father Joe’s homily. “Do you see a vocation, Messiah/Anointed One, or lose woman as Luke 7 discusses, or do you see Jesus Bar Joseph, as Matthew discusses in today’s readings?”
Father Joseph presented who he was, priest, son of his parents, brother to his siblings, coworker to his fellow priests. He is a man with hopes and dreams, fears and disappointments. He is Ben Adam, son of a man. He is all of these things.
Discussing the homily after Mass, Father Joseph also agreed with the statement that St. Cephas/Peter knows beyond all doubt that Jesus Bar Joseph is Messiah Bar Elohim Chaim,מָשִׁיחַ בְּנאֱלֹהִים חַיָּה . On the other hand, St. Cephas/Peter has no idea what a Messiah Bar Joseph is. In next week’s readings, St Matthew makes this clear.
Jesus began to show his Talmudim that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the presbyters, the chief Cohen, and the grammarians, die and rise on the third day. Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “May it go well for you, Kyrie! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
Jesus is Messiah Bar Joseph. The essence of Messiah is service. St. Cephas/Peter receives his commission, the keys of the kingdom in Matthew 16. Matthew 17 is the transfiguration. In Matthew 17 St. Cephas/Peter shows that his understanding of Messiah is white light and glory. “Let us build three Chuppah, one for you, one for Elijah, and one for Moses.” The cloud rises, Elijah and Moses go away, and Jesus takes his apostles down the mountain to heal the epileptic.
In the passage where St. Cephas/Peter receives the kingdom, Jesus points out that Messiah is not about white lights and glory. St. Joseph pointed out that in the reading for next Sunday Jesus gives the first prediction of his Passion. Messiah is about sacrifice, not white lights and glory. Father pointed out that the Hebrew word for “Glory” is Chesed,” and it means to be important/weighty, not white lights and glory. It means getting down and dirty and getting some dirt under your finger nails.
Knowing whom Jesus is, Jesus does ask, “who am I,” means understanding who Jesus is, not what the vocation is. It means understanding Our Blessed Virgin, through understanding the Magnificat. It means understanding, not just Jesus Ben Elohim, Son of God, but also Jesus Ben Joseph, Jesus the son of a Jew. It means understanding what it means to be Jewish. It means understanding what it means be homeless; as Jesus argues; he has no place to rest his head, Matthew 8:20.
Jesus, like Isaiah, means God Saves. Jesus is Salvation incarnate. Knowing Jesus and being like Jesus means being Salvation incarnate. Being like Jesus, knowing Jesus, means being salvation incarnate. There is no room for moralizing. There is no room for finger pointing, they are like this…” “They are like that…” There is only room for bringing salvation. That is who Jesus is. Jesus is not about white lights and glory. Jesus is all the colors of the rainbow. Jesus is being important. He is rescuing the paralytic and the epileptic.
Jesus is Messiah Ben Joseph. Zechariah starts the tradition of the four technicians, carpenters. One of these is Elijah, John the Baptist, two of the people King Herod and the people think Jesus is. The second is Messiah Ben Joseph. The tradition behind Messiah Ben Joseph is that he goes to Jerusalem, exactly where Jesus is going when he asks St. Cephas/Peter who he is.
The tradition behind Messiah Ben Joseph is that Gog and Magog, or Romulus/Rome kills him. Gog is the Hebrew word for “Roof.” Magog is Hebrew for “From the Room.” The Jewish temple was one big roof. Jesus is Jesus Ben Joseph. Jesus’ father was Joseph. Messiah Ben Joseph is about suffering, not white lights, and glory.
Father Joseph gave an excellent end to his homily. “Jesus asks you in this congregation, ‘Who do you say I am?” Is Jesus a vocation we call Messiah, or is he true God and true man. Is Jesus in all of his Semitism a personal entity in our lives, true God, and true man? Is our Jesus even Jewish?
In a discussion with a person after Mass, the objection was raised that some religious refer to the Old Testament as Torah. All we could be answer was, If Jesus is Jewish, and his heritage is Jewish, what does it matter? Is Jesus a vocation, Messiah, or is he a very Semitic son of the living God, with all that living and God mean?
That question from Jesus again, “Who am I?”