September 12, 2021
Brian D. Inman
Smoky Mountain District
Mark 8:27-38Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus Predicts His Death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
The Way of the Cross
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Who do you say that I am?
What it meansThere’s a lot in this passage of scripture…Jesus asks a question that seems innocent enough, to begin with – “Who do people say that I am?” The answers come rolling in, and all seem reasonable – “John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets.” But then, Jesus gets personal – “What about you? Who do you say that I am?” And Peter nails it – “You are the Messiah!” Jesus warns His disciples to not tell anyone else and then proceeds to lay out what has to happen to Him in the near future, and the news wasn’t good. Once again, Peter feels the need to insert himself into the conversation, and this time, he doesn’t exactly nail it. Jesus rebukes him and goes on to tell His disciples what is required in order to continue to be His disciples. They would need to take up their cross and follow Him. The cost for following their Master was significant – but it was worth it. The journey would be bumpy, but at the end of the day, all of them ended up nailing it – except for Judas, all of them took up their cross and resolutely followed The One who had led them for the past three years. You see, they knew who He was. They were secure in their love and belief in Him, and they knew that He was the One that they ultimately needed to follow.
What it means to meToday, most people have a pretty good idea of who Jesus was (and is). Just about everybody has certainly heard a story or two about Jesus and His earthly ministry as contained in the scriptures. But how about you? Who do you say that He is? It’s a good thing to know about Jesus, and have some knowledge of who He was…but it’s far better to really, really know Him as our Lord and Savior. As His followers, we have the same instructions – take up our cross and follow The Master. Even when the way is bumpy, we are to take up our cross and follow Jesus, no matter what. He will lead us into goodness and truth, and will take care of us, His children.
PrayerPrecious Lord Jesus, we thank you for the awesome opportunity to take up our cross and follow you. At times, the way is difficult, but you always make a way. You are always there, you are always good, and your plan is always perfect. We thank you that we know you, and that you are always worthy of our praise and our worship.
In Jesus name,