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Jesus is the Messiah

Watch Week Six Day Three

Who is Jesus

Herod thought He was John the Baptist.
Some Jews thought He was Elijah.
Rome would label Him a traitor.

Peter’s answer, “You are the Christ”—the Messiah, the Anointed One—was a profound confession of truth, so much that in the parallel story recorded in Matthew 16:17, Jesus responds, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

Peter didn’t know the extent of the profound truth he had just uttered. Earlier in the chapter, Peter didn’t trust that Christ could bless and break a single loaf of bread to satisfy the disciples’ hunger. Later in Mark 8, Peter rebuked Jesus for plainly describing His coming death, though it was necessary for Messiah to die. (We will read more about that in tomorrow’s study.) In other words, though Peter’s answer—“You are the Christ”—was completely accurate, he was deficient in his understanding of howJesus would save His people.

Who Does God’s Word Say that Jesus, Messiah, Is?

Isaiah described Messiah the gentle, afflicted Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53) who would usher in freedom (Isaiah 61:1–2). Jesus introduced Himself by reading Isaiah 61 to the elders at the temple (Luke 4:17–21). Daniel wrote that Messiah would reign with the blessing of the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13–14). He would be of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10). Malachi 3:1 and 4:5 foretold that Messiah would be announced by a messenger, a type of Elijah. Mark 1:2–4 confirms that this messenger was John the Baptist. The book of Malachi was the final word from God for more than four hundred years—until the Word became flesh.

Jesus Reveals His Identity

Thus far in the book of Mark, Jesus has kept His identity as Messiah a secret. There’s one notable instance, in the book of John, where He plainly divulges who He is . . . to a woman.

“The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he’” (John 4:25–26). As He sat by a well, thirsty, the God-man declared His identity to a Samaritan. She immediately ran home to tell everyone about Jesus, and He did not forbid it. Many Samaritans were saved!

Another woman was praised by Jesus for anointing Him with expensive perfume in preparation for His burial (Mark 14:18). She saw clearly what the disciples viewed dimly: that the Messiah must die.

What does this mean for us? The kingdom of God is a plot-twist kingdom. People the disciples would not expect—blind men and Syrophoenician women— saw Jesus more clearly than they. Well-educated Pharisees suffered blindness toward the Messiah, even in their zeal to serve God.

We can be like the Pharisees, knowing all the right rituals and passages but blind to the Savior, or we can believe that Jesus is who Scripture says He is.

Who do you say Jesus is?


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Daily Question

Mark finally explicitly states who Jesus is—the Christ! Does Peter really understand what this meant at this point? Why does Jesus tell them to keep His identity a secret for now?

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Comments (2)

I think Peter thinks he understands, but I don’t think he really understands. It is a true look at the good with the bad. He is the Messiah and the Christ, but He was but on earth to save us but to do that he must suffer and die. Hard to rationalize in your head.

I’m not sure if I can confidently answer this question or maybe just not at the point in scripture this question is being asked. The devotional also states that Peter didn’t simply because he was trying to prevent execution of Jesus.

Whether or not Peter understood the truth of that statement at the time, based on what we read later in scripture about Peter’s life and his unwavering commitment to Jesus’ cause after Jesus’ death, I think it’s safe to assume he came to that realization at some point.

The second I will think on a bit more.

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