Why Caesarea Philippi?

Matthew 16:13-20

What better place to ask the question—
Who do you say that I am?—
than the well-traveled intersection
for politics, religion, and trade,
Caesarea Philippi.

Armies are tramping through all the time
and it’s the trade route between Damascus and Tyre
and there are shrines to the old pagan gods.
All these concerns come together here
at this familiar crossroads.

So, when Jesus pops the question,
his followers might be tempted
to think he represents an earthly endeavor:
material wealth, military power,
or prominence in the religious establishment.

For Simon Peter, son of Jonah,
flesh and blood did not reveal the answer,
but our Father in heaven.

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A
August 27, 2023

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