Year 2 Day 364
Read - Mark 8:27-30 (Focus v27-28)
Message - Alan Burke
We have all come across people who have many wonderful ideas of who Jesus was and is. I’ve heard many things that I just have no idea how people ever came to that conclusion. Here in Mark’s gospel Jesus asks the question of His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”. This question although many people today disregard it, and many people have quite wonderfully wrong ideas, this question is one of the most vial, crucial questions not only for those disciples who were with Jesus but for all of us, ‘Who do you say that Jesus is?’
This question marks the turning point in this gospel, for up until now the focus had been primarily been on Jesus’ Galilean ministry. From this point on in the Gospel of Mark the focus is on Jesus’ journey to the cross, to Jerusalem, to the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Only after those events would the fullness of this confession of Peter be understood.
Here Jesus asks the question, it is a preparatory question “Who do people say I am?”. It isn’t that Jesus didn’t know, it is that He wants the disciples to think through all that people were saying. As they give the answer of the average man and woman think of Jesus. From their responses it is clear that people have a multitude of different ideas. In a sense v28 is just giving us some of what we have heard before.
First we are told is that people say Jesus is John the Baptist.
Now that’s not surprising, that’s what Herod Antipas thought and some others. In part this was because of the fame of John, and most people in Galilee had never see John or heard him preach but they had heard of Him on the grape vine. Yet John was the one who was preparing the way who would come, who was more powerful than him, the one whom the thongs of his sandals John was not worthy to stoop down to unite (1:7).
Others think Jesus is Elijah.
Now there is a reason for this, it’s not that they just pick an Old Testament prophet out of the hat and say this one, if they had done that they could have had any number of names mentioned here. Elijah is significant because in the last book of the the Old Testament, Malachi, God make the promise in chapter 3:1 and 4:5 that Elijah would return before the Day of the Lord and the Messiah came. They expected Elijah to return and in part that was because Elijah did not die for he went up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). So some were thinking to themselves that Jesus was Elijah who had come.
While others were saying that Jesus was one of the prophets that God had sent throughout their history.
There is one thing all these answers have in common, and it’s this. These answers show a failure to understand who Jesus was and is, they are inadequate. They fall short, they miss the point, they may as well be stabs in the dark for they miss the truth of who Jesus was and is. Notice there is nothing said of the people saying that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Holy one of God, the demons had a better idea who Jesus is than the people of God.
There are lots of people today that have an idea of Jesus, often it is more influenced by anything other than the bible. Some think that He was good man, some put Him in the category of a moral teacher along with Socrates, Confucius, the Buddha, Islam teaches that He was a prophet, there are others who think Jesus is a fairy story, but it matters for all of us. It is so essential that we get the answer to this question right because if we don’t, if we get it wrong, then eternity is at stake. Jesus is the Christ who came to suffer, be rejected, die and rise again that we might be saved from our sin, for all who repent and believe He gave the right to become children of God, know that He is the Christ, the Messiah. Is He your Christ?
Q7 What are the decrees of God?
The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. (Eph. 1:4,11, Rom. 9:22–23)