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Luke 9: 18-22 – Week 25 Ordinary Time, Friday (King James Audio Bible KJV, Spoken Word)

18 ¶ And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?
19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

Today’s Gospel verses invite us once more to consider the true identity of Jesus. This scene is filled both with a sense of preconceptions and expectations, and with the over-riding knowledge of the new, which is the truth of Jesus. Additionally, we are asked by Jesus to declare the truth of our knowledge of who Jesus is. We are invited by Jesus to confess our Christian faith.

Jesus asks his disciples to consider the speculations in the land concerning his true identity. The disciples know that some people are saying that Jesus must be John the Baptist risen again, or Elijah, or another of the prophets. This would be because this would then help to account to the people for the signs and miracles Jesus performed. This would be conventional knowledge, of a sort, even as it would entail a fundamental misrecognition, a falling short of true knowledge.

The disciples, however, have lived with Jesus. Their knowledge is different from that of the crowd. The disciples have intimately learned the truth about Jesus. This is why Peter is able to answer Jesus’ question, by replying that Jesus is the Christ of God, the Anointed One.

This is truth. Jesus, though, tells his disciples to maintain the hiddenness of Jesus’ full purpose. This is because the cross must be fulfilled. It is identical with Jesus’ true identity that he must suffer the Passion and die upon the cross to be reborn. Jesus draws his disciples toward full and complete knowledge of his being on Earth.

Concluding Prayer | Love Revealed By Jesus Christ

Lord God,
you hold out the light of your Word
to those who do not know you.
Strengthen in our hearts the faith you have given us,
so that no trials may quench the fire
your Spirit has kindled within us.
We make our prayer through our Lord.

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Take Nothing For Your Journey | The Story Of Abraham

The story of Abraham is a powerful example of trusting in God’s provision, even when it means leaving behind everything that is familiar and comfortable.

In Genesis 12:1-4, God calls Abram (later renamed Abraham) to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and go to a land that God would show him. This was a daunting call, as Abram was being asked to leave behind everything he knew and journey to an unknown land. However, Abram responded in faith, trusting that God had a plan and a purpose for his life.

The author of Hebrews reflects on Abraham’s faith in Hebrews 11:8-10, saying: ‘By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.’

Despite not knowing where he was going, Abraham trusted in God’s provision and continued to follow Him. God blessed Abraham’s faithfulness, promising to make him a great nation and to bless all the families of the earth through him (Genesis 12:2-3).

However, Abraham’s journey was not without its challenges. In Genesis 12:10-20, we read about how Abraham and his wife Sarah journeyed to Egypt during a time of famine. Abraham was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him and take Sarah as their own, so he asked her to pretend to be his sister instead of his wife. This deception led to Pharaoh taking Sarah into his household, but God intervened to protect her and eventually returned her to Abraham.

Despite his mistakes and missteps, Abraham’s faith in God remained strong. He continued to trust in God’s provision, even when it meant leaving behind everything he knew and loved. And in the end, God’s faithfulness to Abraham was evident, as He fulfilled His promises and blessed Abraham and his descendants in countless ways.

In our own lives, we may be called to take a journey of faith like Abraham. It may involve leaving behind our comfort zone or taking a step into the unknown. But as we trust in God’s provision and follow Him, we can be confident that He will guide us and bless us, just as He did with Abraham.