Chapter 29

Questions Jesus asks
Mark 8:27-38 (NASB)

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27 And Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” 29 And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “Thou art the Christ.” 30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him. 31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” 34 And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s shall save it. 36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 “For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

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Mark 8:27-33
Who is Jesus-and why has he come?

En route to Caeserea Phillippi, Jesus asks His disciples, Who do people say that I am? They reply either John the Baptist, or Elijah, or one of the prophets. Jesus then asks directly, Who do you say that I am? Everyone needs to answer that question. The right reply can lead to a changed eternity after death and a changed life now, because it shows why we can trust Jesus.

Peter’s immediate answer, elsewhere confirmed by Jesus as correct, [1] is You are the Christ. Old Testament students knew Messiah would come as prophet, priest and king to deliver sinners from sin, not as a military warlord to end Roman slavery. Peter partially grasps this. Jesus forbids the disciples to publicise that the Son of Man (Jesus Himself) must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. It is not the right time for Him to die, so He now reveals His coming death and resurrection only to His disciples. Peter’s response to hearing this is as wrong now as His previous statement You are the Christ was right before. Jesus rebukes him: Satan is behind Peter’s response. Peter looks only from man’s point of view. He still has missed that Jesus has come to die. Peter’s eyes of understanding are still closed. As the blind man needs to receive physical sight, Peter needs to be converted in order to ‘see’ the truth spiritually.

Jesus is a wonderful teacher who works amazing miracles. His wisdom and power are matched only by His love. But His purpose in coming to this world is to die on the cross for our sins.[2] The only way to be forgiven is to trust in His death for our sins. Jesus predicts his resurrection after dying on the cross, He will rise again. We know He did that. Now, as the living Saviour, He enters the lives of all those coming to Him for forgiveness.

Mark 8:34-38
The other cross

After speaking about His coming death, Jesus teaches that coming to Him means self-denial, taking up the cross and following Him. The right to live selfishly is ‘crossed out’ in following Jesus. That right goes if Jesus is your Lord. Sharing His good news becomes your priority. You could actually lose your life for Him—many Christians have done so. But the worst bargain is to lose your soul eternally. If you could gain everything in the world—all its splendour, wealth, status and power—and go to a lost eternity, you would be a tragic loser. Your eternal soul is so precious that Jesus died to save it—to lose it is foolish, tragic and irreversible.

Jesus continues His direct teaching. No one can doubt how serious this issue is. If you are ashamed of Him and His words, He will be ashamed of you when He comes again. He urges everyone to turn from unbelief and selfishness and yield to Him. He is God. What He says is always right! ‘Just do it!’[3]

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[1]    .  Matthew 16:16.
[2]    .  Mark 10:45.
[3]    .  Heed the advice of His mother, Mary, in John 2:5.

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Questions on Chapter 29
Mark 8:27-38 Questions Jesus asks.

A. What does Peter get right here? Why is that important?   Mark 8:29   John 14:6   Acts 4:12   Matthew 1:21

B. What does Peter get sadly wrong? Why is it important to get the issue of Jesus’ death right?   Mark 8:31-33   Hebrews 9:22   Luke 19:10   1 Corinthians 15:3-4

C. What does Jesus teach is the value of an eternal soul? Why does knowing that your soul is safe for eternity encourage you to deny yourself in order to follow Jesus?   Mark 8: 34-38   Luke 14:27