Today we’ll finish out Mark 8 with verses 27-38:
Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Today Jesus gives His disciples and His followers perhaps His greatest teaching on what it means to be the Messiah. As we talked about yesterday, people had in their minds what it would be to be the Messiah. So, today starts off with Jesus asking the disciples two HUGE questions.
First, who to do people say that I am? This is important, but not the most important question. What are others saying about Him.
The important one is this. Who do you say that I am? That’s the key question to really all of life. I mean, everything comes down to the answer of that question. Who do you say that I am? Who am I to you?
And in our lives, that really is that key question. Not what do your parents, your friends, your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your church, not what any of these think of Jesus, but what do you think of Jesus?
Who is He to you?
Friends, that truly is the question that matters more than anything else in all of life, because how we answer that question determines everything else.
Well, Peter answers right. He says you are the Messiah. And then Jesus begins to teach about what it meant to be the Messiah. And it wasn’t what Peter was expecting. It wasn’t about being an earthly king. It wasn’t about power or might. But to be the Messiah was about Jesus laying down His life for the sake and for the sins of the world. It was about the perfect Lamb of God, the sinless Son of God, redeeming us.
It wasn’t about power, it was sacrifice. And after the sacrifice, the power of life and resurrection triumph. But to get the triumph, to get to the empty grave, we had to go through the cross.
Well Peter hears this and says, no. That’s not right. That’s not what it means. That can’t be right.
And Jesus rebukes Him. He says – Peter, you are focused on earthly thoughts, not heavenly ones. For to follow Jesus is not the way of power, but of sacrifice. Because true life is not found in receiving, true life is found in giving. The world tells us to receive and receive and receive and receive. Jesus tells us to give. And in giving, we find life.
In laying down our life, we find our lives.
To be a Christian means to follow Jesus. And that’s the path that Jesus walked. And that’s the path He calls us to walk.
It is a path of life. Seriously. It’s the path that gives us life. Loving. Serving. Giving. There is life. It’s what our Lord taught us. May we follow!
Friday we’ll look at Mark 9:1-8.
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