When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Matthew 16:13 Jesus was an electric, dynamic, and intriguing personality. To some people, he was a healer. Many others saw him as a teacher. I am sure to his family he was a beloved sibling or son. Perhaps some saw him as a carpenter only. To the religious leaders, Jesus was a nemesis and a false prophet. Perhaps the Sanhedrin council thought of him as a law-breaker. Certainly, the Romans saw him as a threat to their oppressive rule as many Israelites thought of him as the long-awaited Messiah and king who was going to restore the Davidic dynasty and finally defeat the Romans. The question Jesus asks the disciples in today’s text is a question we should all be asking our loved ones, friends, fellow church members, and co-workers. It is good to think highly of oneself. However, I think it is vital to ask other people what they think of you and what they hear others say about you. Some people say they do not care about what others say about them. That is dishonest on many levels. We all care about what others say about us, to some degree. Even the worst criminal tries to hide his or her real identity so he or she can deceive others into satisfying their wicked lust. Hitler did not see himself as a genocidal maniac. He thought of himself as a great leader, and his followers still feel that way today. We should all ask the people in our inner circles that question now and then. It is necessary to hear the way people feel about our body of work. That will give us an idea about our effectiveness or lack thereof. It will also help to reveal our blind spots or areas for improvement. We need to know whether or not we are impacting the lives of others. Who do people say that you are? What words do they use to describe you in your absence? You and I will be known differently in different circles. What should never change is who people say that we are concerning our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ. We should live in such a way that people will always say that we love God with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our minds. Peoples should also say that we are caring, compassionate, and honorable. Our name should be synonymous with excellence and effective leadership. What people say about us is based on the way we conduct ourselves. People will never think more about us than we think about ourselves. That means we have to set the standard high for ourselves and endeavor to exceed other people’s expectations of us. We should not be angry if people do not say what we want to hear when we ask that question. Before you ask that question of anyone, make sure you look in the mirror to see if there is a reflection of Christ looking back at you. Then spend time in prayer to ask for spiritual transformation.
God can transform us into the image of His Son if we commit our ways unto him. Then when we ask friends and loved ones whom do people say that we are, we will hear such words as a godly, dependable, loyal, caring, honorable, humble, prayer-warrior, worshipper, and authentic disciple of Jesus Christ. Prayer- Blessed Lord, help us to be transformed into the image of Christ so people can say that we are authentic disciples and faithful kingdom workers.