Today’s gospel makes a distinction between the perspective of the crowd and the perspective of the disciples regarding Jesus’ identity. The experience of a crowd can be about safety in numbers and anonymity. One can “hide” in a crowd.
Being a disciple is more personal, more relational, more dedicated. Peter the spokesperson acclaims for all of us: “The Christ of God.” Being a disciple is about being similar to Christ in our priorities and practices. St. Paul speaks of it as being clothed with Christ. People around us ought to recognize Christ-like attributes in our speech, actions, and decisions. It is to be daily, ongoing, persistent, not just when convenient.
When are you inclined to safely slip into the crowd mode? How are you prompted by the Holy Spirit to be consistent in being recognized as a follower of Christ?