Past Issues

Jesus -- the Messiah #17

Read Mark 8:21-9:1.

21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

The Healing of a Blind Man at Bethsaida

22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village.’”

Peter’s Confession of Christ

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 Christ.’”

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, chief priests and 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 things of God, but the things of men.”

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his 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 him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

1 And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”


vv. 27-30 – Peter gives the first clear testimony (other than that from the demons) as to Who Jesus is: the long-awaited Messiah.

vv. 31-33 – But then Peter also fails to understand what the Messiah must do in carrying
out the struggle for righteousness.  Satan tries to dissuade and distract Jesus through His own closest disciples.  But Jesus recognizes the ploy:  “Get behind Me, Satan!” (v. 33)

v. 34 – Perhaps a reason that Peter rebuked Jesus when He talked about suffering and death in the cause of righteousness was because he knew the disciples were on that same path with him. Jesus, therefore, makes it clear that His calling is their calling and His struggle is their struggle: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.”

vv. 35-37 – Jesus calls His disciples – and us – to decide what our life will be about.  
Will our life make a difference in the world?  If we think only of saving our life, “gaining the whole world,” and keeping comfortable, we will lose the chance to be part of his struggle of love for righteousness.   In that call is the fulfillment of our soul in God’s service.

v. 38 – What are the ways in which we can end up being ashamed of Jesus? What does it mean that Jesus would then be ashamed of us in the Final Judgment?

9:1 – The kingdom of God would “come with power” on Pentecost, the day the Holy
Spirit came and filled the disciples for continuing Jesus’ mission after His Ascension back to heaven.  This is what He had been training them for all along.



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