Summary: Have you ever been faced with a difficult question? Jesus asked life’s most important question; our lives will be forever affected by how we answer it.
ANSWERING JESUS’ MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION
Have you ever been faced with a difficult question?
• “May I see your fishing license?”
• “Do you know why I stopped you?”
• “How many calories are in a mouse?”
• “Will you marry me?”
• “Are you saved?”
The disciples were asked one of the most important questions of their lives, and they were not ready to answer it fully. We also must come to grips with the question “Who is Jesus?” Our lives will be directly affected by how we answer it.
I. A Shallow Answer (vs. 27-30)
A. Correct Answer, but not the full truth
1. “Christ” means Messiah, Anointed One; one chosen to be king
2. For centuries the Jews had expected a great political, military leader
3. The text bears out the fact that His own disciples were expecting Jesus to fulfill this role.
B. Here is the Full Truth
1. Jesus came as the Messiah, but not the one the Jews expected
a. Carpenter not a conqueror
b. Servant not a sovereign
c. Teacher not a warrior
d. Healer not a combatant
2. Ancient prophecies
a. A Victorious King would arise
b. First, a suffering servant
C. Why did Jesus command them to keep silent about Him?
1. They did not have a full understanding of all that Messiah was
2. Others who followed Him shared this same misunderstanding
Jesus came with:
II. A Single Aim (vs. 31-33)
A. The Mission of the Messiah was to die
1. “For it was fitting, in bringing many sons to glory, that He, for whom and through whom all things exist, should make the source of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10 (HCSB)
2. “Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, He also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil— and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15 (HCSB)
B. The Disciples didn’t understand this
1. Peter objected; rebuked Jesus for such a suggestion
2. Jesus declared that to avoid God’s will for our redemption was satanic
3. Satan didn’t want Jesus to go to the cross either: he understood what it would mean
Jesus then taught that discipleship is:
III. A Significant Assignment (vs. 34-35)
A. Discipleship is always costly
1. Billy Graham said, “Salvation is free; discipleship will cost everything we have.”
2. “Dear friends, when the fiery ordeal arises among you to test you, don’t be surprised by it, as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah rejoice, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14 (HCSB)
B. Discipleship is Cross-Bearing
4. The surrender of our lives
• How do you answer Jesus’ most important question? (“Who do you say that I am?”)
• The correct answer is “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God - my LORD and Master."