Bible Readings: Mark 8 27- 9:4
Following Jesus was a learning process for Peter involving many changes in his outlook and in his attitudes.
1. Understanding Jesus’ identity
During a wave of popular opinion Jesus dared to ask some questions to test what people and his disciples had really understood about his true identity.
The questions were asked at Caesarea Philippi, an entirely Gentile town situated along the northernmost border of Israel. Three temples stood in the region; to the Syrian god Baal, the Greek god Pan and the Roman godhead Caesar. Jesus wanted to know if the people and the disciples understand what separated him from those gods and how they understood him in the light of their own Jewish tradition.
The answers “Who do people say that I am?” reflected differing opinions which reflected a good opinion of him. However they were incorrect.
"They had good thoughts of Him, but not right ones; a high opinion of Him, but not high enough." (Thomas Scott)
The most crucial thing that Peter and all the other disciples needed to do was develop their understanding of who Jesus really was so the second question, “Who do you say that I am” was a much more important question.
“What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.” A.W. Tozer
What we think Jesus determines how we value him and how we treat him.
Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Our salvation hangs on the right confession about our Lord Jesus Christ. To confess that Jesus is Lord is to acknowledge that He is the Master, the Boss and the CEO of our lives. Is that your view of Christ?
Learn to expect that God’s plan will often be different than your plan.
When we are faced with a “Matthew 16:21” situation, where we don’t understand the mind of God it is important that we don’t give a verse 22 response. “Never Lord, this won’t happen!”