Saturday 13 February 2016

Bible Book:

“‘Who do people say that I am?’ ... ‘But who do you say that I am?’” (vv. 27, 29)

Mark 8:27 – 9:1 Saturday 13 February 2016

Psalm: Psalm 35:9-18


The disciples have been present with Jesus as he has taught, andparticipated in the miracles he has performed. Jesus finally turnedto the disciples to make up their mind about him.

He asked them, first, what others had been saying about who theythought he was. Their answers included Elijah - one of the greatestJewish prophets - and John the Baptist, who has been a popularcontemporary prophet before recently being beheaded by KingHerod.

Jesus then turned to the disciples and asked them who theythought he is. Peter declared that he was the Messiah (verse 29).In Mark's Gospel, Jesus is secretive about his identity (eg Mark1:44; 7:36; 9:9). He told the disciples to tell no-one thistruth about his Messiahship. Perhaps he did not want to attractfame as a miracle maker, rather than one who was bringing God'skingdom into being. Perhaps people have to discover this truth forthemselves?

Jesus went on to teach his disciples about the nature of God'skingdom. It is a kingdom which comes into being through patientenduring, as well as through potent action. Peter did not like thisteaching. He urged Jesus to avoid suffering, and Jesus rebuffedPeter, calling him Satan (verse 33). Peter must have gone from thespiritual high of a profound recognition of who Jesus was, to aspiritual low of misunderstanding so badly the meaning of who Jesuswas. He saw partially, but not clearly. And this is often true ofour spiritual encounters with God.

Jesus then began to teach that those who would follow him musttake up their cross and lose their life. The life we all must lose,is the life that centres round us as kings and queens in our ownkingdom. All of us must be like Peter, seeing in part, becauseGod's kingdom is so much bigger in scope than our small imaginings,and we can only glimpse a sense of its immensity.

To Ponder

  • Have you had the experience of losing your life, only todiscover a whole new, bigger, richer and broaderone? What happenedand what was the change like for you?
  • Have you had the experience of making a big mistake in yourdiscipleship? Why did you make the mistake and what did you learnfrom it?
  • In your own experience, what do other people say about Jesus?And who do you think Jesus is?

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