The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee." Matthew 21:11 NRSV
Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen among us!" and "God has looked favorably on his people!" Luke 7: 16 NRSV
The crowds seemed to think that Jesus was a prophet - whether he enters Jerusalem on a donkey or raises the dead, he is regarded by the crowds as a prophet. Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised when unchurched people as a group (i.e. a crowd) identify Jesus as just a great prophet. From the outside he seems to be full of wisdom and good advice. he seems to be acting for God and has a message to share. He is counter-cultural and anti-establishment. His words and actions get him into trouble. He comes to a bad end (re-read the original ending of Mark). Therefore, he must have been simply a great prophet.
What the crowds miss out on is a deep and personal relationship with Jesus, his gift of renewed life and the true ending (i.e. the rest of the story). It was the disciples, namely Peter, who figured out who Jesus really was. I think this was because they knew him as a person and had a relationship with him. He gave them not just a miracle or two and some good advice. He gave them life and the Spirit. And we do know the rest of the story.
God, we pray that our relationship with Jesus is not superficial but deep, abiding and true. May we be filled with new life in the Spirit. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims