Summary: One of the most profound questions ever asked is the one Jesus asked His disciples.
Who Do You Say That I Am?
The Book of Mark
A. One of the most profound questions ever asked is the question that is asked in our passage today.
B. Who do you say that I am?
1. It is a simple question and yet the answer we give is far beyond simple.
2. What one believes about Jesus Christ affects their whole life.
C. If the question were asked in another way it would be easy to answer. What do you know about me?
1. It would be easy to say that almost everyone who lived in that part of the world had heard about Jesus if they hadn’t seen Him personally.
2. Most people in the world today would be able to answer that question.
3. Almost every one has at least heard of him.
a) More books have been written about Him than any other person ever.
b) More artists have tried to capture His features on canvas than any other individual.
c) He is the subject of continuing debate over the things He said and did more than any other person ever.
4. So it would be easy to answer if the question was asked in that way.
D. But Jesus didn’t ask it in that way.
1. He asked it in a way that requires internalization of truth.
2. He is asking for an answer that takes thought.
E. Remember we said last week that this part of the book is pivotal.
1. The first half of the book covers over 2 yrs time.
a) Jesus was baptized in the Spring of A.D.27.
b) The events in this chapter take place in the summer of A.D.29.
2. For over two years now the disciples have been witnessing Jesus power and teachings.
a) They had enough information to believe.
b) By contrast the people of Galilee had had enough revelation to bring judgment on them.
c) Jn. 12:34ff.
3. Now the time has come to see if the message has gotten through to the disciples.
a) Have all of these months of exposure to Jesus and His ministry taken root in these men.
b) Have they internalized the truth yet?
c) Luke records that the questions came after Jesus had spent time in prayer.
4. A fitting start to the 2nd half of the book is the confession of the disciples recorded here.
F. That is why He asks these two questions.
1. One designed to lead into the other.
2. One asking in general and the other with specificity.
3. The first question was for the mind the second for the heart.
4. The questions are followed by a right answer and a wrong reaction.
G. Two questions, two answers and one bad reaction.
II. Question 1 “who do men say that I am?” Imperfect tense.
A. These questions were asked on the road to Caesarea Philippi which was about 25 miles due north of Bethsaida.
1. It was primarily a gentile part of the country on the fringe of Palestine.
2. The likelihood of the Pharisees or Sadducees following them up there was pretty remote.
3. So Jesus would have lots of private time with the disciples when He could ask these kinds of questions.
B. I am sure that in all of their travels they had heard what others had to say about Jesus.
1. Remember they had spent time out in the country proclaiming the Gospel with the 70.
2. They had family members whom they would have had contact with.
3. Jesus was the most popular person alive at that time and they were in the center of all of the activity that was going on.
4. So they had heard what the people were saying about Him.
C. These other people perceived Him different ways.
1. Herod and many others thought He was the reincarnation of His cousin John the Baptist.
a) They were close in age.
b) Their messages were similar.
c) The Godliness of the two.
d) John was the forerunner of the Messiah.
a) He was to arrive just prior to the arrival of the Messiah.
c) Elijah never died so he could have come back to announce the coming of the Messiah
3. One of the Prophets,
a) Jeremiah was suggested in Matthew’s account.
b) Tradition said that Jer. took the arc of the covenant and other articles from the temple and hid them.
c) It was believed that he would return and bring them out of hiding just before the Messiah came.
D. How tragic that they missed the point.
1. They elevated Jesus to the office of prophet but didn’t accept Him as He indeed was.
2. Even though they had seen.
a) The many wonders He had performed.