What's My Line?

 

Theme: Jesus is the Christ. Proper 16 (21) Year A
Object: Objects: A hat that might identify a person's occupation. (A fire fighter's hat, for example.)
Scripture: "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Matthew 16:15 (NIV)

When I was a child, there was a television program called "What's My Line?" The idea was simple: there was a panel of four celebrities who asked yes-or-no questions of guests and tried to guess what they did for a living. If a guest had come on the show wearing a fire-fighter's hat, it would have been quite easy for the panel to guess what the guest did for a living, wouldn't it? But what if the guest was a school teacher? Could the panel guess that someone was a teacher by their appearance? Or what if a person was a lawyer? A lawyer looks pretty much the same as anyone else. Unless a person wears some kind of special hat or uniform in their job, it is almost impossible to know what they do just by looking at them.

Jesus didn't wear anything special to show who he was; so just looking at Jesus, he might have seemed to be like anyone else of his day. As you might imagine, there was a lot of confusion about who Jesus really was. One day, Jesus was with his disciples and he played a little game of "What's My Line?" with them, but this time it was Jesus who was asking the questions.

Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "Who do men say that I am?"

One of the disciples answered, "Some say you are John the Baptist."

"Some say you are Elijah or one of the prophets," answered another.

Jesus questioned the disciples further, "But who do you say that I am?"

"You are the Christ," answered Peter, "the Son of the living God."

The Bible doesn't tell us, but I think that the other disciples might have cheered, "Yea Peter! Good answer! Good answer!"

Jesus looked at Peter and said, "Blessed are you Simon, son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. From now on, I will call you Peter (which means rock) and upon this rock I will build my church."

Did you know that there are still many people today who don't know who Jesus is? If you ask, they might say, "He was a great teacher." Or some might say, "He was a great religious leader." They don't know what Peter knew. They don't know what you and I know. They don't know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

Dear Jesus, we know who you are. You are God's only Son, the Savior of the world. Amen.