Mark 8:22-30 Who Is Jesus?

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?”

28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”

29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Who Is Jesus?

we have seen in previous passages that the disciples were struggling to make sense of who Jesus is.  I have also had that problem.  I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 8.  It was in response to a question as to whether I was a Christian.  I suppose you could say at that point I became a disciple.  However, the cross of Jesus didn’t seem to change much.  Jesus himself was not an ever-present reality who changed everything.  He was an answer to a question about heaven and hell.  Heaven and hell were not connected to God necessarily.  Going to heaven or hell was like the difference between holidaying for eternity in a hotel in Florida or a shack in Death Valley.  Jesus provided a bus trip to the hotel and so I wanted to go.  I like palm trees, soft white sheets, and cold drinks by the pool.  However, Jesus was never a bus driver or a busboy.  He is something more.

The people of Jesus’ day had put Jesus in a prophetic category.  He was someone to them who would turn their country and their religion around.  It would be like England looking to the new Prince George to grow up and become a king who would clean up The Houses of Parliament and bring biblical faith back to the Church of England.  When George takes to the streets in 2033, the people will be there with him because he speaks truth and gives them the kind of things they always wanted.  However, Jesus doesn’t own the title of a social reformer.  Peter identifies him as Messiah and Jesus commends him for it.  A Messiah would be more than another prophet who reformed the government and religion.  A Messiah would revolutionise the world.  Peter had stumbled upon something bigger than he knew.  Like the moment when I knelt by my bed and asked Jesus into my heart, he had no idea what he was saying.  However, surrendering to the one in front of him would transform his life and the life of all the disciples with him.

Prayer

Jesus, I have a better idea of who you are than some, but all my knowledge is a finite drop in infinity.  You are more than my mind can cope with.  You are not another in the line of ordinary men empowered by God to bring reform.  You are God who brings revolution.  Continue the daily revolt against sin in my life.  Let me become who you would have me be.  More importantly, let me know more who you are.  Then let me live my life accordingly.

Questions

  1. Who did people say Jesus was?
  2. What would the crowds expect of Jesus?
  3. What did Peter’s confession about Jesus mean?
  4. Who was Jesus to you when you met him?
  5. Who is he now?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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