Chapter 4 – “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Love Unveiled 3

Deacon Ralph –

This chapter focuses on the purpose of Jesus’ incarnation and life. The tone is set from the outset, when following his baptism by John, Jesus begins his ministry, not by taking on local oppressors, but evil, the devil himself. Jesus came to rid the world of violence, hatred, jealousy, and every other kind of evil that separates us from our original relationship with God. He comes as one with authority, different than other religious and philosophical leaders. Sri quotes C. S. Lewis who says, “it does not make any sense to say Jesus was merely a good man, a wise moral teacher, and a spiritual guide. Jesus doesn’t give us that option.” Isn’t this the ultimate decision that we all have to make? If Jesus is a fraud, then we can ignore his message and follow whatever lifestyle we choose. If Jesus is who he says he is, then aren’t we are foolish to embrace nothing less than striving to live a life in accordance with his teachings? In accepting and following Jesus, most of us will fall somewhere between going “all in” and total rejection. In our world, we see people who are at both ends of this spectrum. There are those whose hearts are hardened, filled with hatred. Then we find the Saints, who give us inspirational examples of going all in.

Sri says that, “His kingdom was about leaving everything else in this world aside to put Jesus first in one’s life.” To follow Jesus is to live a life for others. It is a life of humility, persistent mercy and sacrificial service to others. This is the challenge! Saint Therese of Lisieux says, “You cannot be half a saint; you must be a whole saint or no saint at all.”

Mary –

Chapter 4 gives us a very good look at Jesus ushering in the Kingdom of God.  I don’t like admitting it, but I tend to have difficultly defining what is meant by “kingdom of God” – which actually has made meditating on that mystery of the Holy Rosary nearly impossible for me most times.  I don’t know why it seems so complicated for me, personally, to just ‘get it’, but there you have it.  I struggle with it.  Or at least I have in the past.

In this chapter, Sri walks us through what the Kingdom of God really means and he does so with the use of the Gospel of Matthew.  He suggests that the reader open the Bible and read the corresponding passages as you progress through the chapter.  I highly recommend doing so.  Although it will make your chapter reading longer – remember there is no timeline for how quickly you should finish and no prize for those who finish first!  Don’t just refer to the specific passages within the text.  Read the chapters as they come up in the chapter.  All of them.  Jogging your memory or getting re-acquainted with this biblical text really helps in your understanding of the Kingdom of God.  At least it helped with MINE.

A few questions –

  • What is your understanding of the Kingdom of God? How would you describe it?
  • Have there been people in your life who have modeled discipleship in an exceptional, “all in” way? Who are they? What is their story?
  • What obstacles keep you from putting everything else in this world aside and placing Jesus first?


Share your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Chapter 4 – “Who Do You Say That I Am?”

  • Mary French

    What obstacles keep you from putting everything else in this world aside and placing Jesus first?

    My obstacles are always things that shouldn’t be obstacles at all. I let all of life’s little demands suck me in and demand all of my time and attention. Down the rabbit hole I go at the slightest provocation. Sometimes it is duties at home, things that involve my adult children, financial puzzles or problems – or pretty much anything. My obstacles all fit into the category of prioritization: An inability to order my life (and daily responsibilities and routine) with emphasis on what really matters the most.

  • Sue Callahan

    I had a wonderful encounter with a priest who I worked for as secretary for 9 years. His name was Fr. Hugh McCormley! He was my model. I learned so much about living liturgy through him. He was an advocate for the helpless and the elderly. He taught me to see the soul and the face of Jesus in helpless people. I will forever treasure Fr. McCormley and all the facets of faith he shared with me. To list them all would be writing a book. His impact on my faith and my everyday life will be with me forever and has lead to being available to help the elderly in need and to assist in the transition from death to life on the other side for many. I have witnessed the soul and the mysterious pull of the dying process many times. Thanks to Fr. Hugh for the part he has played in my faith growth.

    My favorite saying when there is a question for faith and\or morals is, “What would Jesus do”!

    • Deacon Ralph Post author

      Beautiful tribute to a wonderful priest! A model for all of us, that what we do in life does matter and can inspire people in ways we’d never know, leading them to deeper faith.