Do we recognise God’s daily work in the world, or would we recognise Jesus if we met him tomorrow in the street?
In the Gospels there are several passages which take some care in indicating clearly who Jesus is. At the start there is the visit of the angel Gabriel to an ordinary woman Mary, telling the great news that a Saviour, the Son of God, is to appear in the world, and Mary is chosen to be His mother. At Jesus’ birth, angels again appear to shepherds, the Magi interpret the appearance of a bright star in the sky. In Matthew 16:13 Jesus asks his disciples, who by now should know exactly what this man is about, “Who do you say I am?” Some of the disciples seem unsure. Later, standing before the Council of Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Jesus is asked, “Are You then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.” A little later Pontius Pilate, worried about Jesus’ political status, asks, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so.” again is Jesus’ brief reply (as if to say ‘I have already shown who I am, now you have to make up your own mind.’)
These seem obvious questions and indications of who Jesus is and His Divinity (but— what if you had a visit from an angel?); though, if we ponder them for a moment, maybe put ourselves in the place of the questioner or the shepherds or Mary, are we sure how we would respond?
While waiting for our service to begin recently, we were reminded of these moments of recognition and response, in a humorous way, when one of our group Eric Williams recounted this story . . .