Pastor’s Message September

Mark 8:27-30  Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”  Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

The Right Answer

Some schools have already started having classes and soon others will join them.  It is back to the classroom.   When a teacher finishes a section in a textbook or a unit of study, he or she gives the class a quiz to demonstrate how well they know the material. They face different forms of questions – true and false, multiple choice, matching, or essay.

Of those options, essay questions are probably the hardest because there is no room for guesswork. Students must be specific. Either they know the material or they don’t. It is obvious when they are making things up.

Jesus had been the disciples’ teacher for quite a while. Now, as the end of his life came closer, it was time to find out what they knew. They had listened to him and learned from him. They had seen his miracles. So Jesus asked them, “Who do you say I am?”

Peter, always eager and excited to speak, gave a clear and concise answer. He was emphatic: “You are the Christ.” His statement was short, but it was dead on. By calling Jesus “the Christ,” he was saying that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Anointed One, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit. He was the one whom God promised through the prophets on the pages of the Old Testament. Here was the long-awaited Savior from sin – the Christ.

Many in Jesus’ day misunderstood what the Messiah was sent to do. Even Jesus’ own disciples misunderstood at times. There was the false idea that Jesus had come to restore Israel to the glory and greatness of the days of Kings David and Solomon, when Israel was at the height of its power and prestige. It wasn’t until after Jesus’ ascension that his followers caught on completely. It was then that they spoke about the Christ with clarity and confidence.

By God’s grace, we know who the Christ is. He is our Prophet, who revealed the truth about himself and still preaches his Word to us. He is our Priest, who sacrificed himself for us and still intercedes for us. He is our King, who conquered Satan and still cares for us. What more could he have done?