Today we are reading from Mark 8: 27-30:
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.
Today we see one of my favorite scenes in the Gospel, where Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ at Caesarea Philippi. Matthew 16: 13-20 gives all the details of what is happening, remember Mark is just getting right to the point. Peter confesses that Jesus is Christ, moving on to what is next.
But something that is here, and other places, is Jesus’ command not to tell anyone that He is the Christ. Why is that? Shouldn’t He want the disciples and others to tell everyone who He is? Is that’s that point? Is that why He came? Why would He tell folks not to tell?
The reason is because of what they are looking for in a messiah. They are looking for an earthly king who will drive out the Romans. They are looking for an earthly king who will reestablish the earthly kingdom of David, drive out the Gentiles, and restore this earthly kingdom.
That is not who Jesus is. As He tells Pilate, His kingdom is not this world.
Jesus told them to tell because He know the people could not yet understand who He was. He was not what they were looking for and who they expected. They were looking for earthly power, He came bringing heavenly salvation that would then transform all things.
He told them don’t tell because He knew He was not what they expected.
What do we do when Jesus isn’t who we expect or doesn’t do what we expect? Do we still trust Him even when we don’t understand Him? He knew before the Spirit came, that the people were not ready.
What about us? Do we trust in His plan, even when we don’t understand His plan? Today, may we trust in our Savior and Lord.
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