Summary: For thousands of years people have asked the question, "Who is Jesus?" What does the Bible say?
Who is Jesus?
Today in chapter 8 we are going to take a verse by verse search on who Jesus is & why we should follow him. In verses 1-10 Jesus again feeds 4000 people by a miracle. Later the Pharisees ask him for a sign to prove he is the messiah. Instead Jesus gives them a riddle to figure out. Jesus goes to Bethsaida where he heals a blind man. This takes us to verse 27 where we will begin our seach of Jesus.
Mark 8:27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
Why did Jesus ask this question? Was he going through some kind of identity crisis? I think he just wanted to know what people thought about him. Maybe he was also testing the disciples.
Mark 8:28 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets."
Even back then people were wondering just who Jesus was. People over the last two thousand years have asked the same question & have come up with different answers. Many people today think Jesus was just some nice guy that lived in another country over 2000 years ago. Big deal what does Jesus have to do with my life today.
Mark 8:29 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ." Now Jesus gets personal. He goes from asking "What do people say" to "What do you say?" That’s the question I want to ask you this morning. Who do you say Jesus is? Is he just some nice guy that lived a long time ago? Was he a crazy cult leader? Was he just a prophet or a wise teacher? Who is Jeus to you? How you answer that question will determine your relationship with him & with the God of the Universe.If Regis Phillman had asked Peter that question, Peter would have won a million dollars. He gave the right answer. Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior. The one who has come to give his life for us.
Mark 8:30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Why didn’t Jesus want the others to declare him to be the Messiah? What secret did he have? Just this. It wasn’t time yet. And if too many people found out too soon, then what needed to happen wouldn’t happen as it was suppose to. So Jesus begins to explain to them what was suppose to happen.
Mark 8:31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Mark 8:32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
Jesus told them his purpose for coming. When Peter heard that Jesus was going to die he began to rebuke Jesus. "That’s crazy", he said. "You’re going to kill yourself? Jesus we can’t allow that to happen." "You’re the Messiah. You’re supposed to be king & live forever!" Maybe Peter didn’t understand what was happening. Or maybe something else was going on?
Mark 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Was it actually the devil talking? I don’t know. It could have been another temptation that Jesus was facing. We must understand that there are two worlds. The physical & the spiritual. Jesus passed from the spiritual world to our world the physical. He was still connected to the spiritual realm. Jesus could see things spiritually that the disciples could not see physically. The day will come when we will pass from this world & go into the spiritual. Then we shall understand.
Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. In Luke 9:23 where this event is recorded also, Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Our relationship with God is a day by day, moment by moment relationship. It’s not something we do 1 hour a week. It is a commitment we make to follow Jesus for the rest of our lives. When I married my wife, I gave up all other women for her. I gave up my rights as a single man living alone & chose to make a family with her. I deny my self, my pleasures, my desires for her. I chose to be with her as much time as I can be with her, not just for 1 hour a week. Our relationship with God is the same.