|Theme:||Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah. Proper 16 (21)|
|Object:||A recording of the introduction to "The Lone Ranger" television show (MP3) and photo of the Lone Ranger and Tonto (PDF)|
|Scripture:||"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. Matthew 16:15-17 [NIV]|
One of my favorite television programs when I was a child was "The Lone Ranger." Every week I turned on the television, my heart pounding with excitement as I listened to the opening theme. It went like this. (Play the opening theme.) As you may know, the Lone Ranger wore a mask, and with his faithful friend Tonto by his side, he went around helping people and fighting evil and injustice. Almost every week the show ended the same way. After the Lone Ranger had saved someone from the bad guys, he rode off into the sunset on his horse, Silver, saying, "Hi Yo, Silver!" Then someone would always ask the question, "Who was that masked man?"
When Jesus lived on earth, he went around helping people too. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, made the blind to see and the lame to walk. After Jesus healed someone, it was not unusual to hear someone in the crowd ask, "Who is this man?" Jesus heard people asking that question and he also heard the answers that people gave.
One day Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
The disciples answered, "Well, some think you are John the Baptist, others think you are Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets come back to life."
"But who do you say that I am?" Jesus asked.
Simon Peter spoke up and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said, "You are absolutely right, Peter!"
Many people today do not know Jesus and are asking, "Who is this man?" People give many answers. Some say he was a great teacher. Others say he was a prophet or a great religious leader. The real answer to that question is the same answer that Peter gave when Jesus asked it. He is the Christ the Son of the living God.
Jesus, we confess that you are Christ, the Son of the living God. The one in whose name we pray. Amen.
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