Mark – Who do you say I am?
Read Mark 8:27-9:17
The lesson Jesus taught the disciples (as we saw in our last study) was to trust Him fully. Their ears at first failed to hear, and their eyes failed to see (Mark 8:18). The healing of the blind man at Bethsiada was a real miracle which happened to a real person in a real place, but the way his sight was restored – gradually – serves as a hinge to the next paragraph.
This meeting with the disciples were in private. They were surrounded by the majestic mountains and spectacular scenery.
On the way Jesus asked a preliminary question – about the “people’s” opinion about Him. He was not fishing for complements or ego-booster replies. He wanted to know if they understood where He originated, and what his mission was.
1. Read Mark 6:15-16 and Mark 8:28. What is common thread in these opinions about who Jesus was?
2. It was important for those chosen by our Lord to proclaim his Gospel to the ends of the earth to know who they represent. What was their reply? (It seems Peter was their spokes-person)
The Greek expresses their reply stronger than the English. “You, you are the Christ.”
“Just as ‘thou’ denotes one person and only one, so “the Christ” is one and only one, and ‘thou’ and ‘the Christ’ are identical, and either may be used as the subject or as the predicate. These linguistic points are quite essential. (Lenski, R. C. H. . The Interpretation of St. Mark’s Gospel (p. 336). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House)
The title “Christ”, when used as a verb, denotes anointing with oil. “Christ” then refers to the anointed One – and according to the use of the word in the Old Testament, a royal anointing. The recipient receive honour. In the Old Testament there was an expectation of an anointed King who had to be born. He was referred to as the Messiah – the Hebrew word for Anointed (king of Jahweh).
We looked at the meaning of the statute of Daniel and the 400 years of silence between the Testaments. During that time there was a building expectation for the arrival of the Messiah King.
3. Read Daniel 7:13-14. Who was “the son of man” who approached the Ancient of Days? What did He receive from the Ancient of Days, and how long will his kingdom be?
4. Daniel 9:25-26 makes mention of the Anointed One (Messiah), who ultimately refers to Jesus Christ “who will be cut off”, and another ruler who will destroy the city and desecrate the temple.
5. Read Mark 1:1 and 10-11. With the explanation above, how does Jesus fit the description of the Messiah King?
Peter still had much to learn of Messiah’s suffering, rejection, and death, as the immediately following incident reveals.
6. Read Mark 8:31-32. What was the true mission of the Messiah King? Did Peter understand it?
7. Read Mark 8:35-38. What does the life of a true disciple look like?
Jesus took three of his closest disciples Peter, James and John with Him further up the mountain. What they saw was surely not what they expected. “Jesus ‘changed into that of a heavenly being in the transfigured world.’”
8. Read Mark 9:7. For a second time (first in 1:11-12) , God from heaven confirms to the disciples who Jesus was. Now that they know who He was, what must they do?
The last verse answers the question of Jesus to his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” with an emphatic display of his Deity: The dazzling Son of Man, the promised Messiah King. (See also Revelation 1:12-16).