Differentiated: Mark 8:27-30
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday August 16, 2020

Jesus’ miracles healing the deaf mute, and the blind man prepared the way for learning Disciples. Jesus pulled these people off to the side, and communicated to them in ways they needed. Showing His tender love and care for these needy people. Deaf and blind in a world that couldn’t help them, and they left perhaps not even understanding what was going on.
Having just healed a man in stages; remember He partially restored the mans site in private, then fully restores it in front of His disciples all while accommodating the man.

These stories and their object lessons for the disciples converge in our story today. Jesus asks the disciples to clearly see their differentiation in the world.
Let’s see Jesus’ purposes for the disciples through Jesus’ specific questions.

Mark 8:27–30
Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ
27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”

What’s happened here is the turn in our Gospel. We’re in section 3 of 5. We’ve been through “the arrival” Jesus coming on the state as Messiah and Mark shows Jesus getting to work quickly. In fact, “immediately” was a major theme in this study of Mark.

Next we had “the path” where Jesus was on the path of demonstrating his messiahship through his day-to-day life and His grace steeped path of life and teaching scripture.

Now we get the the ask, which is the pivot of the entire book of Mark – here He takes His disciples away from Bethesda and ask His disciples “on the way”. This phrase will be used 9 times in chapters 8 through 12 of Mark’s gospel. As we said with “immediately” Mark carries themes through His book to underline what is happening, what He is hi-lighting, and to make sure we’re picking up what he’s putting down – he leaves breadcrumbs for us.

And so the pivot point of Marks’ gospel has them “on the way” to Caesarea Philippi. Jesus has retreated from the areas around Jerusalem. As recorded also in Matthew:

Matthew 16:13
Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

what is the common thought, fellas, what do people say? Jesus here in Matthew’s gospel uses the title “son of man”. The book of Malachi promised the return of Elijah, maybe Jesus sounded like John …repent the kingdom of God is at hand”, he teaches the scriptures maybe a prophet.

They’d pondered this. Think back to:

Mark 4:41 (ESV)
41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Jesus path through life, with the disciples in tow would naturally demonstrate the answer and the question is coming to a natural answer.

The disciples say the main ideas of the day:

28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”

Not a bad list of comparables, really – and Biblically informed. Today we see similar but not necessarily as a result of thinking biblically on who Jesus is, rather we see a mostly humanistic reflection on the bundled mess of assumptions about who God is, crushed up with American evangelicalism and christian pop-culture; it’s recycled heresy to be sure and sounds like this, so that you’ll know it when you hear it:

God is love and loving, and makes a way for everyone.

It’s more of a logical conclusion people come to not based on anything. People think it’s based on their personal thinking, but it’s based on personal thinking as much as any singular talking point is. I can tell what news station people listen too based on the talking points they present on an issue. I know if they’re republican or democrat on their re-telling of a story/casting of an event. Similarly, messaging in the world about what being a Christian is isn’t something people naturally come too, they simply parrot a camp. Jesus doesn’t want that for His disciples he want’s them to differentiate, not to be different but to be convinced.

Because the battle of this life will demand more, weak theology will not stand the test of life.

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Let’s keep gong.

29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”

Jesus asked them directly – who do you say I am. Simon Peter answers, you are the Christ. So, we see Jesus as the Son of Man, Christ, and the Son of God. In Matthews gospel

Matthew 16:14–16
14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Son of Man -a title almost always coming from Jesus first from the OT where Daniel had a vision; he sees the judgement, and one like a son of man is given the authority to judge the world.

Son of God – first given to those who give obedience to the father, you are’t the sons of Abraham – you’re the children of satan who you obey.

Peter says: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. What does Jesus say?

We know Mark’s gospel is utility. Mark got to the point who is Jesus The Christ, The Son of the living God. Correct. Lets look back to Matthew’s account of the same:

Matthew 16:17 (ESV)
17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

“blessed are you”. Why?

We referenced last week John’s ask from prison via his Disciples, are you the one or should we seek another? Things aren’t going well, John is in prison, Jesus seems banished from the cities, the powerful seek Him to in prison and murder him this doesn’t FEEL like success.

Matthew 16:18 (ESV)
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Here, the Catholic Church would get its understanding that Peter is the “rock” that IS the church – and so the Pope is in the office of Peter and IS the church. However, we would protest that view, saying Peters confession is the confession of the faithful who make up the Church and through that confessional people, the Church will be built and the gates of hell will not prevail against that.

Peter is blessed because he sees what isn’t apparent. Where then does this confession come from?

30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

Jesus’ ministry is as yet, incomplete. The believers of the day didn’t full understand the implications of Isaiah 53’s Messiah through whose stripes were healed (Isaiah 53:5); they thought a ruler was coming not a humble servant. They were looking for a national take over. Jesus kept word of a political Messiah from spreading like wild fire, and demonstrated His sonship, even the son of man aspect from Daniel’s revelation. Desiring people see the power of God in Him. Time and time again Jesus told people not to tell what they’d just seen, Mark 3:12Luke 8:56 and 9:21 because Jesus was about God’s mission, not early fame.

Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

Mark 3:12 (ESV)
12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

Luke 8:54 (ESV)
54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.”

Luke 9:21 (ESV)

Jesus Foretells His Death
21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,

There is a clear theme in Mark, and in the gospels generally but specifically learn in Mark, called the Messianic Secret. That is, that Jesus kept His messiahship a secret. Guys this is the WORST kept secret, literally, in all of History. I know someone who has a hard time keeping secrets – not dark ones but light hearted fun ones like birthday surprises etc. Jesus’ messiahship is like that, there was a forerunner to His birth John who was a bad secret keeper magi that showed up to His birth, an angel that told Mary, a powerful ruler who tried to kill all male children His age…. He was born where and how scriptures said the Messiah would be, he lived and did the things the Scriptures said He would…. Yet people, distracted by the world and messaging around them, wouldn’t see it.

Everything in the super natural world knows it – demons say just in Mark alone

Mark 1:24 (ESV)
24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”

Mark 1:34Mark 2:20Mark 3:11Mark 5:11 and so on and so on

Mark 1:34 (ESV)
34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Mark 2:20 (ESV)
20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

Mark 3:11 (ESV)
11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”

Mark 5:11 (ESV)

11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside,

And so Jesus here strictly charged them to tell no one. What didn’t he want them to tell no one, of?

You are the Christ

Luke, you are the christ of God, Matthew you are the christ son of the living God, however, Mark starts – The Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God; so we know where he stands. Matthew, Luke, and Mark give a great picture of this confession.

Jesus CHARGED the demon out of the man he REBUKED the wind and the waves, and he CHARGES/REBUKES them, to tell no one. Not that it wasn’t true, not you’re a blasphemer. Perhaps these disciples aren’t yet ready to carry the messiah’s message into a fresh world; no, Jesus will still train these disciples for that.

In 1 Timothy Paul writes of a ministers calling that:

1 Timothy 3:6 (ESV)
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Great argument for training the minister. Should Peter give his testimony and point to Christ, absolutely – should he describe Jesus’ messiah ship, absolutely not, should he leave a church, not yet.

But this is the great confession – intimate setting with Jesus’ careful questioning, who do people say I am, who do you say I am, and don’t tell anyone…

What does this mean for us?

“who do you say that I am”

How would you answer that question.


Is He the Christ of God the savior of the universe. Are these words and motions, are they muscle memory or do these words from from your perception of who Jesus is? Is this based on your deeply held belief?

What do you say, because you know it in the depth of who you are, in a way that surpasses every objection in you any intellectual disagreement, who do you say that Jesus is?

Jesus’ ministry was living in all ways like us to make a way for our salvation and to give a path for the faithful to find Him, to see that sight was restored which is a testimony to God’s grace, Jesus power and the Spirits conviction on our hearts enabling us to have a confession with Peter’s and be blessed as we know peace and the God who brings us into salvation and life everlasting with Him.

Who raises us above political waring and brings us to knowledge of Him. Confessing as members His Church the lasting agency against sin and death for a watching world to wonder “what is it that draws them with such differentiating power” while the world see’s Jesus in all these ways, they KNOW Him as The Christ; and that makes them different.

From this point forward, Jesus ministry closes in on the 12 and their preparation to bring in the age of the Church until He returns, and there we find our selves – not idly waiting, rather confessing and living differently among a lost world.

Having just healed a man in stages; Jesus restored a mans site in private, then fully restores it in front of His disciples, here he reveals that their sight isn’t complete – but they’re on the path. Jesus is the Messiah, can you see it?

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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