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Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

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Who Is Jesus to You?!?

Mark 8:27-33

I. Introduction

A. Illustration – 1950’s game, “Going to Jerusalem” – Walked from Bethlehem to the triumphal entry – never the cross or through the angry Pharisees. It was a walk through all the comfortable, easy stories of Jesus. This is the way we often play the game of Jesus

B. New Section

1. Jesus reveals the secret vocation of the Messiah - death and Resurrection

2. Jesus spells out the fine print of the requirements of discipleship

3. Jesus leads them to "the way." ὀδος

4. Jesus' power blends with weakness

5. The shortcomings of the disciples

C. Context

1. Jesus had just healed the blind man in stages, just as He is about to see the disciples see Him in stages

2. They are in Caesarea Philippi – The farthest point from Jerusalem, but still in Israel, heading back that way

II. He is sent from God

A. Exegesis

1. Along the way Jesus simply asks the question “Who do people say that I am?”

a) He understands that he people are in a different place spiritually than the disciples

b) They have a desire to see Messiah, but it is completely on their terms

(1) They want a Messiah who is full of benefits for them – power and autonomy

(2) They don’t want any demands placed upon them from the Messiah

2. They begin to explain that people see Him as:

a) John the Baptist – Some assume that He is John the Baptist risen from the dead. He was a great leader and obviously sent by God. He had spoken extensively about the coming Messiah and there was hope for their future in the words of John

b) Elijah

(1) Malachi 3:1 - “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

(2) Malachi 4:5 - “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

(3) They were quite OK with God sending another prophet, especially when this one would mean restoration, not judgment

c) One of the prophets – The least flattering of the three because it is non-specific

3. Ultimately they were willing to say that Jesus is from God as long as it means benefits to their lives with no commitment

B. Application

1. We need to be careful that Jesus doesn’t become just one of many voices in the Bible

2. He is more than just one sent from God, but He is God incarnate

III. He is the Messiah

A. Exegesis

1. The disciples are beginning to see a little more clearly

2. Jesus quickly turns His question to the disciples in saying, “But who do you say that I am?”

3. Jesus hear is making the question a little more pointed – It takes a little more commitment to Christ to answer this question

4. Jesus emphasizes the “you.” He wants to get to the heart of the question in the heart of His disciples

5. Illustration – Often when people want to complain they say, “I have heard people saying…” They put the words in someone else’s mouth so that they do not have to commit to the words themselves. When we truly have to say what we feel there is commitment to the words

6. Peter steps forward as the spokesman of the group

7. He replies, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:15-20

a) Matthew gives more of the conversation

b) Great praise came to Peter for this answer because He was beginning to see the picture more clearly

c) What He said could only be revealed by the Father

8. The problem is that He still sees the Son God through the lens of His desires – to overthrow the Romans and establish the Kingdom of Israel

9. As seen when He “rebukes” Jesus for the idea of death

10. He strictly charges them to tell no one – They do not fully understand the implications – They need to know more

B. Application

1. Many in the church today are willing to see Jesus as The Son of God, but not willing to follow Him wherever that leads

2. They are certainly not willing to entertain the idea of death to follow Him

3. And yet, Jesus is about to explain that following Jesus means death

4. We must die to self in order to come to new life in Him

IV. He is the Hope of salvation

A. Exegesis

1. Jesus begins to teach them the depths of what it means to be the Son of Man

a) This title is one that Jesus most often uses of Himself

b) It comes from Daniel 7:13-14 – The prophecy of an absolute and eternal King

2. Implications: Suffering, rejection the authorities, and death, followed by resurrection

3. Peter’s response shows that this did not meet his expectations –

a) Peter takes Jesus aside – grabs Him and pulls Him aside for privacy

b) Peter began to rebuke Him – To give a strong disapproval!

4. Jesus returns the rebuke saying, “Get behind Me, Satan, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

a) Jesus does not set His agenda by our wants

b) Jesus looks clearly at our needs and is not blinded by the lens of tradition of desired

5. Peter still cannot see clearly – He must walk wherever Jesus takes Him!

B. Application

1. Jesus plan of suffering is the only way of salvation

2. Jesus plan of death is the only way to the eternal Kingdom and restoration

3. Following Jesus means we must trust Him even when He doesn’t make sense

4. Seeing Jesus clearly often means something different than we would come up with

5. Following Jesus Means trusting Him with whatever He does and realizing in the end He is vindicated and He is right (rise again)

6. We need to let Christ set the agenda and we must walk with Him realizing that He is “God with us”

V. Conclusion

A. Following Jesus for many today means that you need to die to yourself and trust that Jesus is more satisfying than self

B. Following Jesus means placing your faith in Him and going to the cross with Him

C. Following Jesus means being a part of His Kingdom as the resurrected Son of God who lives today interceding for His people

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