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“Who Do You Say that I am?” – The Gospel of Mark

• Daniel Baker

Posted in Sermons

If Jesus himself asked you, "Who do YOU say that I am?", how would you respond? It's one thing for a friend or your dad or even a pastor to ask that question. But what if Jesus himself was the one asking it? That would be unsettling. In that moment you'd realize any pretending would be foolish. Borrowing someone else's answer wouldn't work. Drawing on all that you know and have read and have observed, you'd have to go on record and tell Jesus the truth. Whatever the consequences might be, you'd have to just lay it out there. 

The apostle Peter was confronted by Jesus asking this very question and answered famously, "You are the Christ" (Mark 8:29). Last March John McLeod walked us through that passage. He explained Peter's words by saying,

“Christ” or Messiah meant “anointed one.” It was not used in the Old Testament in an absolute sense, but rather as a description. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed for service. They were set apart by God and given authority for his purposes. So, they might have been referred to as anointed, but not “THE Messiah.” Peter seems to be saying more than simply making an observation that Jesus has been anointed by God. He is saying that Christ IS THE Anointed one—he is THE Messiah.

Peter had seen enough by this point to know Jesus was no typical Pharisee or prophet or miracle-worker. He was more. Jesus was the Christ. But Peter's knowledge was far from complete. He had massive gaps in his understanding. And as soon as he spoke the right answer Jesus began to press him further. The biggest gap for Peter was understanding that the Christ must die. The Christ wouldn't march into Jerusalem and then Rome and come out with a crown. He would walk in and then leave with a cross on his shoulders, a cross he himself would be lifted upon and then die on. 

Tomorrow morning we're back to our study of Mark, "Introducing...Jesus." We're not yet at the cross, though. We're at the Transfiguration, that mysterious revelation of Christ. Tomorrow we'll be introduced to the Jesus who transcends all OT heroes and figures and is more glorious than words can describe. He is more than a Moses, more than an Elijah. He is the Son of God. "Listen to him!" 

See you then! 

Daniel

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