Mark. Mark 8:27 9:1. May 3 rd 9 th

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1 The gospel according to Mark Mark 8:27 9:1 May 3 rd 9 th

2 What s Going On? This week we reach a major turning point in the Gospel of Mark. The first half of the Gospel has been a fast paced account of the life and ministry of Jesus. The primary question of this section has been Who is this Jesus? In this passage, Jesus brings this question to the forefront by asking his disciples two questions about his identity. Peter s answer to these questions reveals much about the true identity of Jesus. His answer results in a change in the focus and pace of the Gospel. The question being asked is no longer Who is this Jesus?, but What has Jesus come to do? The pace of the Gospel is no longer a rapid series of accounts of Jesus going from town to town and back and forth across the lake. He is on a deliberate march leading his disciples on the way to the cross. Read Mark 8:27 9:1 (also read the parallel passages in Matthew 16:13-28 and Luke 9:18-27). 1. What questions does Jesus ask his disciples in verses 27-29? What do these questions tell us about Jesus? (why are they significant?) 2. How do the disciples answer Jesus questions? What do these answers reveal about the identity of Jesus? 3. Why does Jesus tell the disciples to be quiet about his identity in verse 30? (one clue can be found in verse 32) 4. What does Jesus teach the disciples plainly in verse 31? How does this meet the expectations of what is revealed in verse 29 about his true identity? 5. Why is Peter rebuked in verse 33? How is this a warning for us?

3 Looking Deeper Peter s testimony in verse 29, You are the Christ reveals much about the true identity of Jesus. It also provides some insight into the minds of the disciples and what they understood about Jesus. However, as we see just a few verses later, Peter still does not understand what Jesus came to do. It is hard for us to understand how he, and the other disciples, could continue to miss the purpose of why Jesus came, but unlike the disciples, we have access to the whole counsel of God in His Word. Let us take time today to study what the Old Testament teaches about the Christ. Read the following passages and meditate on how they could influence the thinking of the people in Jesus day (Remember: Christ means Anointed One): 1. 1 Samuel 2:1-10 (especially verse 10) 2. Isaiah 42: Psalm 2 4. Jeremiah 23: Daniel 9:24-27

4 Looking Deeper Continued Names and titles given to people in the days of Jesus had significant meaning and importance. They helped describe a person s identity and purpose. When Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ, he knew what that title implied about the person of Jesus. Peter believed that Jesus was the Anointed One. He was the promised Messiah. We know that Peter was correct in his declaration. Jesus is the Messiah. That is why we call him by the name Jesus Christ. The Scripture is full of other names and titles that have been given to him as well. Take some time to meditate upon the following names and titles of Jesus. What do they teach us about his person and his work? Bread of Life (John 6) Deliverer (Romans 11:25-36) Good Shepherd (John 10) King (John 12:13-19) Lord (1 Corinthians 2:6-8, Revelation 19:11-16) Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) Savior (Titus 3:1-11) Son of God (Mark 1:1-11) Son of Man (Mark 2:1-12, Daniel 7) The Word (John 1)

5 Reflection We have spent the last two days meditating on the person of Jesus and now we will look at what he came to do. Jesus provides a great summary of his mission and work in verse 31, He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. The word must is a key word in this summary statement that modifies and controls the entire sentence. That means everything listed is necessary. Jesus must suffer. He must be rejected. He must be killed. And he must be resurrected. It has to happen. What are the implications of this? There are several possible ways to understand why these particular works of Jesus were necessary. Reflect upon each of these. 1. Jesus must suffer, be rejected, and die because it was prophesied in Scripture. Jesus alludes to this at his arrest when he said, let the Scriptures be fulfilled (Mark 14:49). The Messiah must suffer and die to fulfill such passages as Isaiah and Zechariah Jesus must do these things in order to be the true Messiah. God s Anointed could not bring the kingdom in without suffering, rejection, and death. Divine power comes through service and sacrifice, not power and strength. This idea was completely foreign to the Jewish community at the time and is part of the reason why the Jewish leadership was so staunchly opposed to Jesus. 3. By using the word must, Jesus is indicating that he is planning on doing these things. He is not merely making a prediction. He is willingly moving towards suffering, rejection, and death. 4. Jesus must complete his work because the price of sin must be satisfied. God is holy and hates sin. A payment was required and Jesus was the only one qualified to make this payment. He must suffer, be rejected, and die in order to pay the debt we owe. This is the only way sin can be forgiven.

6 Responding We have spent this week meditating upon the turning point in the Gospel of Mark. Over the last several months we have been wrestling with the question, Who is this Jesus? Earlier this week, we discovered a clearer answer to that question. Jesus is the Christ. He is the Promised Messiah. And now our attention has turned to a new question, What has Jesus come to do? We will spend the next several months wrestling with this question. In the midst of this climatic turning point, we must ask ourselves one question: How do we respond to this Christ who must suffer and die? Read Mark 8:34-9:1 Mark provides us with a very clear message. We must do more than get Jesus title right. We must be his disciples. In this passage, Jesus outlines what his requirements are for discipleship. He presents us with three demands in verse 34. First, we must deny ourselves. Those that deny themselves have learned to say, not my will but yours be done. Second, we must take up his cross. We are asked to join the ranks of the despised, rejected, and doomed. Third, we must follow him. We must not simply listen to the teachings of Jesus, but we must submit ourselves to them and follow our Master s example. Jesus moves on to give a rationale for accepting these demands in verses He appeals to one of the most basic human desires, which is the security of one s life. We seek many ways to secure our lives, but all of them are destined to fail. Jesus offers a paradoxical principle to save our souls. In order to save your life, you must lose it. What does this self-denial look like? Why is it important? Jesus gives us at least one reason why following him is important in verse 38. He offers a solemn warning. To be ashamed of him and his words during our earthly lives will lead to him being ashamed of us when it is time to begin our eternal lives. If we reject him, he will reject us. He will not be our advocate. We will stand before the Holy God having to defend ourselves and will be judged. Therefore, what is more important to you? To be judged acceptable by this world and rejected by God? Or to be rejected by this world and to be judged acceptable by God in Christ? Finally, Jesus concludes with a confident promise (9:1). Some of Jesus audience will not taste death until they witness the kingdom of God coming with power. What does this mean? Jesus inner circle of three will receive a foretaste of this during the Transfiguration in Mark 9, but ultimately this is pointing to the Resurrection. At that time, Jesus will be declared the Son of God in power and many of those present will witness that day. Here is the amazing news of this promise: it has already happened. This promise has been fulfilled and all of us our witnesses of it through the Word of God. Discipleship is not part-time volunteer work that one does as an extracurricular activity. God refuses to accept a minor role in one s life, he requires a controlling place. ~ David Garland

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