And he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
One of the remarkable things about the way in which Christ reveals himself is that he consistently does it through his Church and not by an exercise of raw power. Christ does not, as he might, call down legions of angels or engage in displays which leave us no choice but to cringe before him in all his divine splendor. He does not even declare outright that he is the Christ or the Son of God. Instead, he asks the Church, “Who do you say that I am?” He compels us to make a decision. He demands that we offer a judgement. Not that he submits himself to the Church completely, of course. When Peter offers helpful advice on how it would be better not to die, Jesus rather forcefully rejects it. But the truth remains that Christ reveals himself through his Church, not apart from it.