Summary: Jesus desires his disciples to "get him right." To understand him more thoroughly. he leads them into understanding.
Getting Jesus Right
February 26, 2006
For the first 8 chapters of Mark, Jesus had been doing his thing. He had been doing his best to reveal who he is to any who will listen and pay attention. Not limiting himself to the temple - to the religious, not isolating himself among the toxic environment of the educated teachers, Jesus had been demonstrating his powers, teaching, loving and reinterpreting the way life was meant to be lived to any who were able to perceive it. In the first 8 chapters of Mark, Jesus had healed the demon-possessed, the leprous, the paralytic, a deaf man and a blind man. He’s recruited a group of people to invest in and put them thru an intense Boot Camp experience of fast paced learning. He has calmed a stormy sea, multiplied fish caught in it and walked upon it. Jesus has taught by a lake, from a boat on the lake, in a field and in a church.
And along the way his closest followers and those in the crowds are doing their best to figure out what in the world is going on. But they are having a hard time. Here is a list of some of their reactions to Jesus.
What is this? (1:27)
We’ve never seen anything like this. (2:12)
What is this? (4:41)
What is this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles. (6:2)
They were completely amazed - for they did not understand. (6:52)
Though people have seen Jesus.
Though people have been healed by Him.
Though people have learned from him and been inspired by Him they really can’t comprehend who he is or what he is up to. [The only one’s who do know what is going on are the demons - for they realize who Jesus is and what he came to do - namely put them out of business. (1:24, 5:7)]
This goes on for 8 chapters. For the first half of Mark.
Though Jesus is causing oohs and ahs - it hasn’t caused people to truly know him.
Though Jesus is the center of attention wherever he goes - few have made him the central part of their life.
Jesus must have realized this.
He must have sensed this, and he didn’t like it. He wasn’t intending to be popular. He wasn’t seeking people’s approval. He wasn’t out to impress others.
To get a feel for where the people were at, he asks a question to his followers in Mark 8:27. "Who do people say I am?" And he gets a myriad of answers. Not the one he was looking for.
v. 28 - His disciples replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah and still others, one of the prophets.
Three strikes and they were out. The people hadn’t figured him out. So he asks again. This time to his disciples, v. 29.
"But what about you? Who do you say I am?"
In asking the question - Jesus makes himself vulnerable. In poising the question again - Jesus opens himself up to perhaps learn that even his closest followers don’t know who he is either.
But he must ask the question.
He must find out - for if people don’t know who he is and why he is doing the things he does, Jesus is wasting his time.
Before we get to their answer, listen close Saints. Though these words were said 2000 years ago by Jesus, his question will be asked again to you and to me.