Summary: A sermon for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 19 Jesus asking who do you say that I am, Peter’s answer

15th Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 19

Mark 8:27-38

"Faith and Works"

27 ¶ And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"

28 And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets."

29 And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ."

30 And he charged them to tell no one about him.

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men."

34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

37 For what can a man give in return for his life?

38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."RSV

Grace and peace to your from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

"An old boatman in Scotland had the job of taking passengers across a like in his rowboat. One day, one of the persons on board inquired concerning the oars the boatman was using. One oar had the word FAITH carved on it and the other WORKS.

The old man said, "I’ll show you the reason." He put one oar into the water, the one marked FAITH and began to row. The boat would just go in circles. Then he took the oar out and put in the one marked WORKS and began to row. The same thing happened, the boat went in the opposite circle.

Then he picked up both oars, FAITH and WORKS placed them in the water and began to row. As he pulled these oars together, the boat began to move forward in a straight line. To the passenger who questioned the oars he said, ’That is the way in the Christian life -- one is no good without the other."

The principle that both FAITH and GOOD WORKS are important in the life of a Christian was demonstrated very well by that story. Our lesson this morning deals with the subject of faith and works. It is a very difficult subject to understand. But it is a subject that is important for the life of a Christian believer.

First let us look at the faith part.

In our gospel lesson, Jesus is in the middle of his public ministry. He is in northern Galilee, and he is now heading down to Jerusalem where he knows that the cross, suffering and death await him. As he begins this most difficult part of his ministry, he has to know if he has done any good ? He has to know if anyone has figured out who he is, why he has come. He doesn’t ask the crowds, but he asks the men who have been with him night and day for a year and a half. He asks the ones who are suppose to know him best. He begins by asking them what others are saying about him. They tell him, some say you are Elijah, other a prophet. Then Jesus brings the question from out there to home, he asks them, "But who do you say that I am"

But who do you my disciples say that I am? Who am I in your eyes?

Notice they all don’t start talking at once. There is a long pause. What were they thinking this was a test and they did not want to get the answer wrong? Were they worried Jesus would get offended by their answer?

Then good old Peter probably could not stand the deafening silence any longer and blurts out the famous four words, "You are the Christ."

You are the Christ, faith’s most famous words. Peter understood who Jesus was, he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of God, the one who would bring God’s good news into the world. Peter knew who Jesus was, he thought, and blurted it out. "You are the Christ." Peter blurted out those famous words because we think he understood who Jesus was. Jesus was the Saviour who came to earth to save us from our sins.

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