Summary: To walk with Jesus is to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him.
Title: You Can’t Walk with Jesus with Eyes Wide Shut
Text: Mark 8:31-38
Thesis: To walk with Jesus is to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him.
Riding on a wave of impressive demonstrations of power Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" Then he asked them, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "The Messiah."
Given the Messianic expectations of the disciples and the Jewish people Jesus wanted to make sure they knew what he was really about. They were following him with eyes wide shut... unable to see where Jesus was really going. Jesus wanted them to follow with eyes wide open.
Do he outlined his path of suffering, rejection, death and resurrection.
Peter objected with eyes wide shut... resulting in a rebuke from Jesus.
Jesus went on to let his followers know that to follow him with eyes wide open meant denying oneself, taking up one's cross and following him.
There was a man sitting at a table in a very nice restaurant waiting for someone to take his order. Seated at the table next to him was a very pretty lady who happened to sneeze… and when she sneezed her glass eye popped out. He deftly caught it and returned to a very embarrassed but appreciative lady.
She invited him to join her saying, “I really would like to buy your dinner as an expression of my appreciation.” So he moved to her table.
They had a delightful dinner and as she paid the tab she asked him if he might see her again. Being a little taken-aback the man asked, “Do you ask every man if he would like to see you again?” To which she replied, “Of course not, but you caught my eye.”
Our eyes are a dead give-away as to what we are thinking.
At the Inaugural Luncheon Michelle Obama was sitting between the President and John Boehner. John Boehner leaned over and asked President Obama is he’d had a cigarette before the luncheon and then joked that someone probably would not let him… a stab at humor regarding the President once remarking that he had quit and if he should ever start again, his wife would kill him. The cameras caught Michelle Obama rolling her eyes at his remark.
Not long ago when Prince William and Kate visited the United States… Kate Middleton was attending an event in Harlem where she was seated at a table with several women. They were all wrapping gifts for the poorest children in the city. As they were working away Kate was chatting with the ladies when a supervisor walked by and said, “Keep wrapping” after which Kate raised her eye-brows and rolled her eyes. People do not generally scold the Duchess of Cambridge.
We can do all kinds of things with our eyes: We can see eye to eye; turn a blind eye; feast our eyes; blink; twinkle; open and close our eyes. We may also perceive with eyes of understanding.
Jesus wanted his disciples to see who he really was and for us to see who he really is.
I. The Need to Know Who Jesus Is, Mark 8:27-30
Our text today comes out of a rather striking context in which Jesus was on what we call a roll. The idiom “on a roll” means things are going great. On a roll means a person is on a winning streak or riding a wave. To be on a roll means to be moving from success to success. And the way Mark tells it good things were happening rapidly, one after the other.
• Jesus fed 5,000 men and their families, Mark 6:30-44
• Jesus walked on water, Mark 6:45ff
• Jesus took the religious leaders to school regarding their hypocrisy, Mark 7:1-23
• Jesus delivered a little Gentile girl from demon possession, Mark 7:24-30
• Jesus healed a man who was a deaf mute, Mark 7:31-39
• Jesus fed 4,000 people, Mark 8:1-21
• Jesus healed a blind man, Mark 8:22-26
This series of demonstrations of power had resulted in a considerable amount of public attention. People were thinking. People were speculating. So as Jesus was walking with his disciples from Bethsaida to Caesarea Philippi Jesus casually asked them:
“Who do people say I am?”
A. Another Prophet?
Jesus asked, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “…some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.” Mark 8:27-28
But then Jesus brought the question of his identity closer to home.
B. The Messiah?
“But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “The Messiah.” Mark 8:29
Peter’s response was a major confession of faith in as to who Jesus was and is… more than a great teacher. He is more than a John the Baptist or the Old Testament Prophet, Elijah. Jesus is the promised Messiah.