Mark – The Facts.
I game show I used to watch many years ago as a kid is making a new appearance with the same title, “To Tell the Truth”. Three people introduced themselves as the same person. Then a panel of judges must interview them and see which one is telling the truth about themselves. At the end of three rounds of questions, the real person stands to reveal his/her real identity.
Jesus, in the midst of ministry and mentoring, turns to his disciples and asks, “Who do you say I am?” What must his guys be thinking of these questions? Is this another test, Jesus? Will there be a “catch” to this line of questioning?
Mark 8, The Message
27 Jesus and his disciples headed out for the villages around Caesarea Philippi. As they walked, he asked, “Who do the people say I am?”
28 “Some say ‘John the Baptizer,’” they said. “Others say ‘Elijah.’ Still others say ‘one of the prophets.’”
29 He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”
Peter gave the answer: “You are the Christ, the Messiah.”
30-32 Jesus warned them to keep it quiet, not to breathe a word of it to anyone. He then began explaining things to them: “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive.” He said this simply and clearly so they couldn’t miss it.
32-33 But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. “Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works.”
34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
38 “If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”
Now it’s time to stand and tell the Truth…
Ah, we find out that this is Jesus’ way of helping his followers dig deep in their perception of WHO He really is to the them and to the rest of the world. “Who do others say I am?” is a way for the followers to evaluate where Jesus stands with the rest of the world around them. “Who do YOU say I am?” is a personal question to evaluate their own relationships with Him.
This is a great question for our personal relationship with Jesus, too. Who DO we say that Jesus is to others? Or do we just talk about our church?
Who is Jesus to us? Are we impressed about His story or is He interwoven with our story? Are we merely impressed with His good teaching of right and wrong or have we found Him to be our Savior and Lord? Are we growing more intimate with our Lord? Does He lead in every detail of our lives as Lord or is He just called on as a Savior in a crisis?
It’s time “To Tell the Truth.”
Dear Heavenly Father, I am compelled to tell the truth about You. Life is all about You. You are God and we are not. Jesus, you are Messiah who saves us. Holy Spirit, you are the One who guides us, comforts us and convicts us so we will grow in our intimate relationship with the Three-In-One. We praise you, thank you and ask that Your Holy Presence never leave us as promised. I believe. I will trust in You alone. Who are You? You are Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. You have cleansed and made me whole. You have restored the joy of my salvation. You are my Savior AND my Lord. To You be all glory, honor and praise!
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.