Children's Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
The Answer to Bunny’s Question
When Jesus went to the area around Caesarea Philippi, he asked his followers: "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
"Some people say John the Baptist," they replied, "but others say Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
"Who do you say I am?" Jesus asked them.
"You are the Messiah, the Savior we've been waiting for. You are the Son of the living God," Simon answered.
"Happiness is yours, Simon Barjona!" Jesus exclaimed. "No one told you this. Only my Father in heaven could show you the truth. So I tell you now. You are Peter, the Rock. On this rock I will build my Church, the community of my followers. And death itself will not overpower the community. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. From now on, God approves of everything you prohibit or permit in the community."
For a five year old, Bunny was bold. When she answered the phone, she would not say “Hello.” Instead, she stated in a direct voice, “This is Bunny. Who is this?”
Some people were amused by her attitude. Some were taken back. Others got mad. But, no matter what her parents said about her phone manners, Bunny insisted on answering the phone her way. She stated who she was. Then, she wanted to know who she was talking to.
One day, the phone rang and Bunny was the first to answer. “This is Bunny. Who is this?” But there was silence on the other end. “This is Bunny. Who is this?” Bunny insisted.
“Who do you think it is?” the voice on the other end of the line said.
“I don’t know,” Bunny said more forcefully. “Who is this?”
“Let’s see if you can guess,” the voice said. ‘Your mother will know me.”
“Mr. Wickers,” Bunny replied, referring to her mother’s boss at work.
“No,” the voice said. “Guess again.”
“Mr. Samuels,” Bunny said, referring to her older brother’s teacher.
“Nope,” the voice said flatly.
“Mr. Hendricks,” Bunny said with the hint of frustration in her voice. Mr. Hendricks was her next door neighbor.
“No, dear...” the voice continued, but Bunny cut him off.
“My name is Bunny, not ‘dear.’ Who is this?” the little girl insisted in her most grown up voice.
“We met last year at the Fourth of July party. I took you for a ride on the roller coaster. It was called ‘The Hammer.’ Remember?” the voice said calmly.
For a moment, Bunny said nothing. Then, the memory hit her like a bolt of lightning.
“UNCLE CHARLIE!” Bunny screamed.
“YES!” the voice exclaimed on the other end.
For the next ten minutes, Bunny and her mother’s brother relived the fun of that day. Bunny almost got sick from all the candy and the rides and the attention her Uncle Charlie gave her. But, what a day! She talked about that day for the rest of the summer. Finally, when Uncle Charlie wanted to talk Bunny’s mother, the little girl had only one question: “When will I see you again?”
Sometimes we don’t appreciate others will live with. We know them. And we know their bad points. But there are times we can see things differently about them. The idea can even hit us like a bolt of lightning. When we ask “Who is this?” we see a completely new person. One with talents we didn’t even think they possessed.
Bunny had this experience when she asked “Who is this?” Simon also had this experience, when Jesus asked the same question. But Jesus asked it about himself. He didn’t ask “Who is this?” He asked, “Who do you think I am?” Simon’s answer changed him, because he saw Jesus in a different light. He was no longer the leader of a traveling ministry. He was God’s chosen One. He was the Christ!
When we see Jesus, do we dare ask “Who is this?” Or do we think we know Jesus, like we know others in our family. Let’s dare to ask the question. You might be surprised how you answer. You might see Jesus in a new way.
Answer Jesus who is he. Pray and be prepared for the answer.