St. Edmund's Church, Crickhowell
Encounters with Jesus -
Just before this encounter, Mark records Jesus' healing of the blind man at Bethsaida (8:22-26). This particular healing does not happen instantly. The man's journey from blindness to sight echoes the gradual opening of the eyes of the disciples to who their companion, Jesus, really is.
In this story, Peter grasps a deep truth about Jesus. Yet he fails to develop it, and thus only half understands it - landing in deep trouble as a result. Have you ever got into trouble through misunderstanding, or only partly grasping, a particular event or situation ?
Read Mark 8:27 - 9: 1.
Christ, or Messiah, is a title rather than a surname. It means 'the anointed one'. In O.T. times this was applied particularly to the kings (such as Saul and David), who were seen as chosen by God for their task - and thus were 'anointed'. These anointed kings, and later the promised Christ Messiah, had huge expectations placed on them by the people.
Jesus' response to Peter's confession of Him as The Christ was to name Himself the 'Son of Man'. In using this title, Jesus was saying two things -
Then Jesus went further still, by implicitly linking another O.T. passage / figure to the one from Daniel - the 'suffering servant' (read Isaiah 53).
The 'Gospel' is referred to by Jesus in this story (v.36). As Stuart Blanch observed,
"Mark is not just telling a story. He is proclaiming a gospel The gospel as it emerges from this incident is that Jesus was the Messiah for whom the Jewish people had been waiting, that he was opposed by his own people, largely misunderstood by his own disciples, and was ultimately crucified. But he was the Messiah, and his status in God's plan for the world is vindicated by his resurrection from the dead."
Thank God for the gospel of our salvation. Ponder some of the many titles given to Jesus in the Bible, and praise Him for Who He really is ! (see e.g. Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:11; John 1 :29).
4/10 BL Last updated 19/10/2004