Who is Jesus?
Daily Reading and Devotional from the Gospels
Mark 8:27 - 9:1
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. 31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. 33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Jesus asked his disciples, “whom do men say I am?” I think it is important to say that Jesus knew the answer. He knew who he was and he knew their opinions. As always, in all of his questions, he was preparing to teach. He knew the answer, but wanted them to know. The answer was varied of course, Herod thought he was John the Baptist brought back to life. Others thought he was just some prophet who performs miracles, Elijah returning from his rapture perhaps. The Lord then got to his point when he then asked, “but whom say ye that I am?” Peter responded correctly, “Thou art the Christ”, the Messianic title of the anointed one that was prophesied. Matthew tells us that Peter also added, “the Son of the living God”(Mt 16:16). Of course, we know that Peter was right. Jesus then began to show them how the Christ was predicted in the Old Testament to suffer, die and live again and how he would fulfill the prophesies in Jerusalem. It was at that point that Peter rebuked the Lord. I understand that he did this from a heart of love for Jesus. He didn’t want him to die, but without the cross of Christ there can be no Heaven for us. Peter was acting like Satan, trying to thwart the mission of God. Jesus had to rebuke Peter because he loved Peter and was determined to save him.
So we could ask what others say about Jesus today? Some, like Ghandi would say he was a good man. Some from the Muslim faith would say that he was a great prophet. Many would say he was sent to be our moral example of love and to show us how to treat others. We must recognize that he did not believe those things about himself. He claimed to be way more than a mere prophet or solely an example of love. Some would say he was a lunatic making grandiose claims about being the Son of God. At least these people are honest about Jesus’ claims. He was either the Son of God like he said or he wasn’t. There can be no middle ground. What others say isn’t really the issue though, is it? Everyone must make their own determination about Jesus. The real concern of Christ was not what others say or believe but what you believe about him. So who do you believe he is? Do you believe he is just an example? How is that working for ya? How’s the turning water into wine going? How many steps have you taken across water while you are following the leader? Do you believe like many that he came to be your good luck charm, to make you healthy, wealthy and wise? Do you believe that he is your supernatural errand boy? Many who claim him today treat him like nothing more. Do you believe that he is your ticket to Heaven tucked away until needed later? Or, do you believe that he is in fact God the Son? Do you believe that he left Heaven to make a way for you to go there? Do you believe that he is your Savior? Do you believe that the Divine suffered all that mankind, the Devil and even the Father threw at him in order to pay for your sins? Do you believe that he is worthy of your worship, your obedience and all of your love? Can you hear Jesus ask you today, Who do you believe that I am?