MATTER OF PERCEPTION

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Who is Jesus?  Peter had already  answered this question on behalf of all  those  who were going to believe in Jesus. ‘You are the Messiah, the Son  of the  living God’ (Mt 16:16). Jesus appreciated  this answer because what  Peter told exactly matched the assignment  with which Jesus was sent from heaven. As Messiah, he was to   deliver us from sin and its consequences. He was to  deliver us from the  clutches of evil. He is the Son of  God, who lives and reigns forever. So Peter got a big appreciation from Jesus, though it was  not Peter’s wisdom that prompted a  correct answer from him.  Jesus tells him  in simple words not to  take the credit for what  he said.  It was  not  flesh and blood, but the will of the Heavenly Father that prompted Peter to give the correct answer.

Elsewhere, Jesus himself  confirms  that the disciples were right when they called him  Teacher and Lord. ‘You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what I am’ (Jn 13:13).  Different titles convey different images of  Jesus, but all invite us to develop a personal relationship with him. A personal relationship with  Jesus the Teacher, Jesus the Lord, Jesus the Master, Jesus the Savior and so on. But at times we tend to confine Jesus as a Master only  and nothing more.  It is  very common among  non- Christians. They are happy only to accept  and respect  Jesus as a  universal master or as a prophet from heaven. They are yet to  reach the fullness of truth where they should realize that  Jesus is in fact much more than what they thought of him; the Lord!

Among us Christians too,  the number of people  who could not experience the true Jesus is not less. For many, Jesus is  their Master.  Interestingly  Peter too once belonged to this  class. But it took  hardly a few minutes for him to  change his opinion.  The incident is  narrated in the gospel of Luke. Jesus was  teaching from the boat of  Simon Peter who had just  returned  with his  friends empty-handed  from a  night’s toil. When Jesus told him to  ‘put out into the deep water and let down his nets for a catch’ (Lk 5:4), Simon was  skeptical about it.  Yet  he decided to obey Jesus saying, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but  have  caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the  nets’ (Lk 5:5).  The catch was so big and amazing that  Simon had to  call his partners from  another boat to  help him.

When Simon Peter saw the  miracle of  fish  coming into  his net from nowhere, he  fell down at Jesus’ knees and said; ‘Go away from me, Lord, for I  am a sinful man’ (Lk 5:8). Here Peter  confesses that Jesus is truly Lord.  It was not a transformation of  Jesus from Master to Lord, because  Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever’( Heb 13:8). Rather it was the  transformation  of Simon who once believed Jesus to be a  Master to Peter who  confessed that Jesus is Lord.  With this  confession, Peter was relieved of his  old job and instead  given a  new assignment. ‘From now on you will be catching people’ (Lk 5:10).

This is the  transformation essential for a Christian. Those who regard Jesus as a mere Master will  compare him with other masters, for whom there is no dearth on earth. On the other  hand, those who experience the  real Jesus, who is our Lord and Savior, will leave  their past behind, and  embark on a  new sail to  catch precious  souls for  the Lord.

Let us  pray for the  grace to be transformed and to proclaim our faith in Jesus the Lord.

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