Mark 8:27-30- Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?”
I’m excited about today’s blog, “He is the Christ!” When I think about this experience that the disciples had with Jesus, and reading the dialogue, I get goosebumps wondering what kind of answers He would get today!
As Jesus is casually walking with the disciples down the road, He asks an unexpected question of them:
Who do men say that I am?Mark 8:27 NKJV
I can just imagine them walking along and throwing out the different opinions they have heard about who Jesus is.
So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”Mark 8:28 NKJV
Have you ever noticed that all of these people had already died? John had been beheaded by Herod, just as Jesus began His public ministry. In another gospel we get the details about what happened. Herod married his sister-in-law which John told him was unacceptable. He didn’t like it, but he was scared of the John because John was a prophet.
But Herod’s wife was angry and probably a little insulted by John’s words. I’m sure they weren’t very nice words since the Law would have called them adulterers and John would have quoted the Law. One night when Herod got really drunk, he asked his step-daughter to dance for him and his guests. She must have been some dancer for he offered her whatever she wanted up to half of his kingdom. She ran and asked her mother what to ask for and was quickly told to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. She sounds like a very sick woman!
Then they suggested that He might be Elijah! I can understand this one a little better because of all of the miracles. However, since they didn’t believe in reincarnation this is a stretch. However, under the influence of the Greco-Roman paganism, they could have gotten things a little twisted.
Although Mark stopped naming after Elijah, by the statement he made, we know that they had other prophets and people they listed. It’s interesting to note that if you were to ask this question of men today you would still get a lot of different answers! It would be interesting to see what others would say. But had Jesus asked the people He encountered we would have gotten different answers!
- John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world!
- The man with the unclean spirit, called Him the mighty Deliverer!
- Peter’s mother-in-law, called Him the Healer!
- The leper called Him a Restorer of Life!
- The man who was paralyzed called Him a Forgiver of sins!
- The blind man called Him a Restorer of Sight!
- And He was still so much more!
But with all of these ways that Jesus continuously demonstrated who He was, from their responses to His question there was still great confusion about Him. They saw the miracles reminiscent of the days of the prophets like Elijah and Elisha and called Him Elisha. They heard the gospel message and His way of dealing with the Pharisees, which probably delighted most of them and called Him a prophet. And they saw His tenderness towards the lame, the poor, the children, and women and found Him to be a puzzle for them. Yet this didn’t bother Jesus so much! After listening to them for a few minutes He had another question.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”Mark 8:29 NKJV
After having read the Bible, when you come back to this passage, you may think, of course it was Peter who answered! But I like his style. He responded to Jesus’ question without hesitation. You are the Christ!
Christ is the Greek word for anointed. When used with the article “the” it is always in reference to Jesus, as the Anointed One. In Hebrew the word for anointed is Messiah. Typically Christ not only refers to Jesus’ title as the Anointed One, but also to His anointing!
Many people were anointed in scriptures:
- priests were anointed to carry out their duties in the temple
- kings were anointed to represent God’s authority on earth
- prophets were anointed to carry God’s message
- In the New Testament, those who carried the gospel message, whether anointed with oil or not, were considered to be anointed
But only Jesus carries the rightful title of the Christ, God’s anointed One! What makes Peter’s declaration so powerful is that Peter was declaring that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah, the anointed one!
What was the Messiah supposed to look like? Did they have any idea? Did the Law reveal ways they would know Him? All of these answers are in the Old Testament and revealed in Jesus.
- The Messiah would be born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14
- The Messiah would be rejected. Isaiah 53:3
- The Messiah would bear the sins of His people. Isaiah 53:12
- The Messiah would do miracles. Isaiah 61
- The Messiah would be preceded by Elijah. Micah 4:5
- The Messiah would be like Moses. Deuteronomy 18:15
- Not to forget where He was born, and how He came out of Egypt, and so many other things.
These are the things that Peter and the disciples saw with their own eyes and yet they still struggled with this reality. You see, as Jews, they believed that the Messiah would come to establish an earthly kingdom, and to this point, He was doing a great job with the miracles, but the Romans were still in charge. Although we know the end of the events of Jesus’ life, I won’t jump ahead. Peter and the disciples are still secretly looking for an earthly kingdom that Jesus will be in charge of after He kicks out the Romans! And even with this secret hope, Peter recognizes the Messiah, the Christ!
Who do you say that Jesus is? This question is still important and relevant today! Maybe it is more important! What do you call Him? What do you say about Him to others? When I answer that question, of course I give Peter’s answer, because I truly believe it is the correct answer! But here are a few other things I have to say about who Jesus is:
- He’s my Healer!
- He’s my Savior!
- He’s my Lord!
- He’s my God!
- He’s my King!
- He’s my Redeemer!
- He’s my Provider!
- He’s my Protection!
- He’s my Best Friend!
- He’s my Big Brother!
He is still the Christ! He is still the Son of the Living God! He is alive and He reign supreme in my life! When I sin, He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins! When I hurt, He comforts and encourages me. When I am tired, He gives me strength! When I feel like giving up, He reminds that His grace and love is sufficient! I can’t imagine life without Him, because I know that to know Him is to know life! I thank God for Jesus! Wonderful, wonderful Jesus!