Summary: Jesus had been teaching his disciples for about 2 years. He had been preparing his disciples for this private meeting at which he intended to reveal to them what would happen to him at Jerusalem. He had given hints along the way, but now he would explain
The Gospel of Mark #21 – “Follow Me”
1. Have you ever been asked a tough question? I mean the type of question that has intense ramifications on your immediate future. The type of questions where you know the wrong answer could have severe repercussions.
2. ILL – Comedian Jeff Foxworthy lists 10 questions that a husband should NEVER answer – 10) Do I look like my mother? 9) How old do you think I look? 8) What are you thinking right now? 7) Do you know how to get there? 6) Have you seen my keys? 5) How do you feel about my folks moving in with us? 4) Whose cooking do you like better, mine or your mothers? 3) If you could change one thing about me, what would it be? 2) Do you remember what today is? 1) Does this outfit make me look fat?
3. This section of Mark’s gospel starts with 2 questions that Jesus asks his disciples. “Who do people say that I am?”(vs. 27) and more pointedly, “Who do you say that I am?” (vs. 29).
4. As we will see, the answer to the first may be interesting, but the answer to the second has ultimate & eternal consequences.
5. Mark 8:27-38 (Read)
6. It is important for us to understand that everything Mark has written up to this point, from 1:1 “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God” has been for the purpose of answering the question, “Who do you say that I am?”
7. Jesus had been teaching his disciples for about 2 years. He had been preparing his disciples for this private meeting at which he intended to reveal to them what would happen to him at Jerusalem. He had given hints along the way, but now he would explain matters to them more fully.
8. The #1 lesson he was trying to get over to them was the realization of his identity.
I. Jesus’ Questions about His Identity – Vs. 27-30
We all need to know who Jesus is. That is the most important question we will ever answer. When we answer that question, it will answer many other questions in our lives.
A. An interesting question – vs. 27-28 “Who do people say that I am?”
1. Of course, people had many opinions about Jesus & still do today.
2. 3 common ideas of that time were –
a. People thought he was John the Baptist because of his preaching. John preached to huge crowds of people. So did Jesus. The message they preached was identical – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matt. 3:2, 4:17).
b. People thought he was Elijah because of his praying. Elijah was a great man of prayer. So was Jesus. Elijah had such power in prayer that he could shut up the heavens so that it didn’t rain for 3½ years. Then, in answer to his prayer, God sent rain to end the drought (James 5:17-18). When Jesus prayed, the deaf heard, the blind saw, the mute spoke, the lame walked, the seas calmed & even the dead were raised. The disciples were so impressed with his prayer life that they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
c. People thought he was 1 of the Old Testament prophets because of his passion. The prophets were men of God who spoke with great passion for God & compassion for people. Jesus spoke as no other man ever spoke (John 7:46)! When he spoke there was compassion in his voice. There was deep love for those who were hurting & hopeless.
3. As good as these may have sounded; they were all cases of mistaken identity!
4. 1 Cor. 8:6b “…there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
B. An individual question – vs. 29-30 “Who do you say that I am?”
1. After hearing His disciples tell Him what others say, Jesus asks for their opinion.
2. For 2 years, Jesus was trying to get them to understand that he was not a mere man; that he was not just one of the prophets; that he was in fact God in human flesh.
3. The disciples had seen 1st hand Jesus’ preaching, his praying, his power & his passion. They had intimate knowledge, not only of what Jesus did among crowds, but how he lived in private.
4. ILL – A little boy often told great lies at school. The teacher would ask, “What did you do this weekend?” And the boy would say, “I Went fishing & caught 36 fish this long!” or “I went deer hunting & killed 8 ten point bucks.” or “I played baseball & hit 16 home runs in one inning!” Finally, she took him to the office. The principal decided to use reverse psychology on him. He said, “I want to tell you about my weekend. I was walking through the woods & saw a huge black bear & it started chasing me...but just then a Chihuahua came out from behind a tree & killed that black bear, & ate it whole. Do you believe that?” Billy replied, “Sure I do, he’s my dog! That was his 3rd bear this week!”