Posts Tagged true identity
This I am leading a Bible Study series with our high school students called Christ Encounters. Please join us for this series of studies in some of the most well-known encounters with Christ in the Gospels. Each study will provide (1) initial observations/questions, (2) interpretation & exegesis, and (3) practical life application questions.
27Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am” 28They 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.” 30Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. 31He 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. 32He 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.” 34Then 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. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38If 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.” (Mark 8:27-38)
I. Observations & Questions
1. Why do some people think Jesus is John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets of old? What would lead them to think this?
2. Why does Jesus warn them not to tell anyone that he is indeed the messiah?
3. Why does Jesus immediately begin talking about his future suffering and death after Peter’s confession of Jesus’ true identity as Messiah?
4. Why does Jesus rebuke Peter so harshly saying, “Get behind me, Satan”?
5. What does it mean to deny oneself and “take up their cross”? How would that have sounded to Jesus’ disciples?
6. What does Jesus mean when he says those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life will save it?
7. What does Jesus mean by “gain the whole world”? What does he mean by “lose one’s own soul”?
8. What does Jesus mean by being ashamed of him? What does he mean by this sharp warning?
II. Exegesis & Interpretation
Everything in the New Testament hinges on the question of Jesus’ true identity. The teachers, officials and ordinary folk of Jesus’ day faced the same question critical scholars, skeptics and church-goers do today: Who is this Jesus? Is he merely a wise teacher? Is he one miracle worker among many others? Is he a religious zealot? A religious blasphemer and heretic? Is he a social menace and an enemy of the state? Is he just another prophet in the long line of other OT figures? Is he a fraud? Or is he the long-awaited Messiah of Israel and divine Son of the living God?
So, as we join the disciples and Jesus on the road to Caesarea Philippi we too are confronted with the same bold question: Who do people say that I am? Who do YOU say that I am? Read the rest of this entry »