Who do you say I am?
Whom do you say that I am?
Whom do you say that I am?
27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? 28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. 29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. 30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.
18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? 19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. 21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. 23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
The biggest issue in the religious world today is, three words, you can summarize it. Three words with a question mark. Who is Jesus? That’s not just in North America. All around the world, the biggest issue is: Who is Jesus? I could add a fourth word. Who is Jesus, really?
See, there is a movement going on that raises the question: Who is Jesus, really? And it’s interesting, in the book of Mark, Mark is written to a Roman audience. The book of Mark, from beginning to end – it’s sixteen chapters – breaks right in the middle of chapter 8. And in chapter 8, it’s the apex of the book and he asks a fundamental question of His followers. Look at verse 27.
Now, observation. “During those days, another large crowd gathered.” You need to know, if you would move back behind chapter 8, the first time he feed 5000 Jews and had the disciples pickup Twelve baskets which the Twelve Tribes(Jews).
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
Does anyone think about bread? Manna? “I am the bread of life;” manna from heaven? When God was authenticating His Word through Moses and they needed food, the manna from heaven, came from heaven, came from God. Do you understand, when Jesus fed the five thousand and they picked up twelve baskets, what the message was? “I am the bread of life, I am the One who has come down from heaven, and I am sufficient for every and all Jews who would come to Me as the Messiah. So much so that there are twelve baskets you pick up afterwards,” And it’s a picture of His sufficiency for all Jews of all time who would come.
Now He is teaching not in a Jewish arena, but He’s teaching in a more Gentile arena, where there are both Jews and Gentiles.
1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.
Give Me what you have.” He then breaks it and how many people get fed? Four thousand. And how many baskets are picked up? How many baskets were picked up? Seven! Yes.
What does the Word “seven” in Scripture, and historically, have the idea of? Perfection or wholeness. “I am the bread of life that has come down from heaven, not only for the twelve tribes and the Jewish nation, but for whosoever would come and believe.” Are you tracking with me?
So, four thousand people have been fed, attacked by the Pharisees, the disciples don’t get it. They don’t see; they don’t understand. Now, notice what happens in the text, verse 22. “They came to Bethsaida. And some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village, and when He had spit on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him, He said, ‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and he said, ‘I see people, they look like trees walking around.’”
A man has an encounter with Jesus, he asks for help, Jesus interacts with him in such a way. Before, he was completely blind, it was all dark. And now he sees, but he doesn’t see fully; he doesn’t see clearly.
Are you starting to catch why this illustration is here? Now, notice what happens. Then they looked up and so he said, “Once more, Jesus put His hands on him,” so he gets another touch, another interaction with Jesus, “and his eyes were opened and his eyes were restored and he saw everything clearly.
Jesus sent him home saying, ‘Do not go into the village,” and Jesus was with His disciples going from this village, to Caesarea Philippi, and while He was there He said, “Who do people say that I am?”
You see what Jesus has done? He has taken this moment to say, “Disciples, you don’t get it. You don’t see Me clearly. You’re like this blind man. You have had encounters with Me, but you see Me like a tree walking. You see, but you don’t see clearly.”
He has another encounter, then he sees clearly. So now, to help them see, He says, “Okay, who do other people say that I am?” Well, you get John the Baptist, Elijah, maybe a prophet, and you know the next question: “Who do you think that I am?”
But here’s what I want you to see. The context here helps us understand this question: Who do men say that I am? is the greatest teacher in the world bringing people to a point where they can answer it for themselves correctly.
In closing, you need to know about the timing. Where does this come in the book? The theme of the book of Mark, written to a Roman audience, is following Christ on the road of discipleship. This is about being a follower, a radical disciple. This is about people who go from the kingdom of darkness, now into the kingdom of light. And the book of Mark is: Follow Me!
Well, there are two questions, in terms of timing, you always have to ask to follow anyone, right? Question number one: Who are you? Question number two: Where are you going?
See, Jesus understood with these followers, who would become the foundation of transforming the entire world, first and foremost, they had to know in their heart of hearts and with their intellect, and have opportunity to really explore and expose: Who is this Jesus? And you know what? In our day, you need to do the same thing.