How do we proclaim Jesus? In the Gospel reading this week there is the account of Peter’s declaration at Caesarea Philippi: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Caesarea Philippi was in Gentile territory and the place where Peter made this declaration was a place filled with Syrian temples to the false god of Baal, the god of Pan and the Roman emperor Caesar. Sometimes we are called to proclaim who Jesus is, in front of others and in hostile territory. However, it is not always about words. The pilgrims to Jerusalem used to sing songs about God’s greatness. In Psalm 124 we have these lyrics: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In the Old Testament reading for this week, the Hebrew midwives showed tremendous bravery in going against the orders of the king of Egypt to protect Hebrew baby boys. They proclaimed their faith in God not by words or songs, but by doing the right thing.
Of course, there are many ways of proclaiming our faith. In the Epistle reading, the Apostle Paul notes that proclaiming Jesus should follow the gifts we have received: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” These are some of the other ways of proclaiming Jesus not only in Caesarea Philippi (modern day Golan Heights) in the first century but also in our own country today.
Old Testament reading for this week: Exodus 1:8-2:10
Gospel reading for this week: Matthew 16:13-20
Epistle reading for this week: Romans 12:1-8
Psalm for this week: Psalm 124