Who Do You Say That I Am?

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Hey everybody, it’s great to be back! It is a fabulous day here in Chicago, perfectly sunny skies, a 73 degree day, nice crisp breeze … Fall is one of the favorite times of the year for me! But I am not only grateful for this day, I’m grateful for you! I’m truly honored and blessed that you watch these on a weekly basis and send me comments, so thank you so much. I appreciate you supporting the efforts and the ministry that I’m trying to build. Stay tuned for more …

Let’s get started on the Gospel, it’s a good one. They’re all good, but this one’s pretty awesome.

Gospel Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”

Okay, pick up your cross’ people. What does that mean?

First, let me just say, Jesus Christ is the most influential human being in the history of the earth. We even have our calendars and years based on him, BC meaning before Christ and AD, which is Anno Domini, which is Latin for ‘the year of the Lord.’

He changed the world. There are so many books and art and sculptures around Jesus and His impact on the world. The world would never be the same. A man resurrected from the dead coming down to earth and He is God. He heals people just by a touch and brings people back to life.

I’ve always had a belief in God, but only until the past five years do I really understand Jesus, his impact on the world and what He did for us.

So if you asked me five years ago, who do I think Jesus is? Honestly, I would just say, “I think he’s God’s son.” I really didn’t even know what He was on the cross for…

But if you asked me now who I think He is I would say, “He is the Christ, the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah. He is what we are here living for!” I have to pick up my cross now and share it with everybody. My cross is not living like I was in the past—according to me, my rules, my life, my selfish ways. It is living as He commands me to live.

It’s funny in this Gospel, Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan.” I would’ve been like, “Hey did you just call me Satan, are you kidding me? I’m not the adversary of God. I’m not the evil Lord!”

But what Jesus was saying to Peter was, “You don’t understand … you’re thinking with the human mind. You’re not thinking with God’s mind and understanding that by me dying on the cross and suffering for the all of humanity’s sins, I am the redemption of the world, the salvation, so that you every single one of you who believe in me and follow me and do what I tell you can live forever in Heaven!”

That’s the cross we have to carry—sharing the good news and living differently. But, you will be saved, you will be living in Heaven, in glory and beauty with Jesus for eternity. That is what Jesus Christ is all about.

I didn’t have Jesus in my life for 42 years, now I thoroughly understand why He came and how impactful He has been in transforming my life. I must carry my own cross and help everybody on this planet live a life that is so incredibly awesome. I sound like a teenager but I don’t know how else to describe life with God. It is awesome! Knowing that He’s got my back, that He created me with all of my ‘imperfections’ that this culture says are imperfect is truly a miracle. I now love every bit of my ‘imperfections’ according to society’s view. I am perfectly made wonderfully and fearfully made and I am not going to let anybody stop me from helping you stare your demons in the face. I can help you face fear and gain that courage to be what you are supposed to be on this earth … through a relationship with God.

You’re not here by chance. You are here for a reason. You have special talents that are only yours and your relationship with God is unique to you.

So let’s all pick up our crosses and learn how to live with God and share the good news. It’s a practice. It’s not something that just happens overnight, but you do have to start somewhere. So this week, let’s remember that He is the one who came to save us! All the graces that He gave me and blessed me with, like joy, love, peace, is the icing on the cake. It’s the sweetest part, but the cake is the redemption of my soul.

I choose to live my life in a way that Jesus commands of me and hopefully, one day get into Heaven and look at Him face to face, feeling that ultimate love that we all strive for because all of us are looking for something more. You can find that something more in Jesus Christ, in God in prayer.

So this week, pick up your cross, pray to God and ask Him to show you the truth and how to live. Alrighty, can’t wait to hear how this week goes.

I hope you have a fabulous week and a blessed and inspired day. Take care!

Kendra Von Esh

Kendra Von Esh

Kendra Von Esh is a Speaker, Faith Coach, and Author who has a passion to help others to deepen their relationship with God and the Catholic Faith.