Mark 8:29 (ESV) — And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”
I’m not very good at guessing games my kids ask me to participate in.
“Dad, guess what book we read at school today?”
“Dad, guess what my favorite YouTube video is?”
“Dad, guess what my friend told me?”
The questions that my girls ask me are endless. I usually shrug my shoulders and say I don’t know. But that doesn’t cut it. A guess is required. After my incorrect guess, they then excitedly tell me the answer.
Our passage today reflects a question from Jesus to his disciples. It is a massive question. In Mark 8:29, “And he asked them, 'But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, 'You are the Christ.’” Jesus has been in a discussion with his disciples about what people in the towns they visit are saying about him. He wants to know what the scuttlebutt on the streets is about himself. The disciples tell him that some believe he is Elijah the prophet, and others are saying John the Baptist back from the dead.
Then Jesus turns his sights on them and asks who they say he is. This is a deeply personal question. Their answer is going to reveal what they understand about him. Peter answers the question. To our knowledge, he is the only one that answered. Maybe he spoke for the group, or only for himself, but he gives an answer. He says, “You are the Christ.” In Matthew’s Gospel we see the added statement, “the Son of the Living God.” Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. He is the Son of God. He is no ordinary man. He wasn’t then. He isn’t now. We need him in our lives. We only find hope, life, rest, and peace as we find it in him. Who do you say he is today?
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does Jesus ask his disciples this question about what they are hearing about his identity?
- What does Peter’s answer reveal about what they are coming to understand about Jesus?
- How do you answer the question? How should our lives reflect that we think he is the Christ?
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