Recently, we wrapped up our 2 lesson series on truth. Even when Jesus spent time with his disciples it was clear that there was a separation between knowing the truth and living it. It was never enough for Jesus’ disciples to know the truth, he was adamant that his disciples required a complete life transformation. Mark chapter 8 shows that belief was not enough, Jesus taught for the purposes of what we refer to today as discipleship.
READ MARK 8:27-38
This passage begins by Jesus asking, what people believe about him. The disciples respond by explaining that the world thinks he is one of the prophets of old. His next question was, “what do you believe about me?” Peter is the only one who tackles this question. Peter answers confidently “you are the messiah.” In the book of Mark this is huge statement of faith! Jesus hardly pauses, however, after this statement of faith. Jesus continues preparing them for the difficult road ahead. A confession or a statement of belief is usually the point where church usually stops in the faith development of new or young be- lievers. If someone believes in Christ that means they are ready for conver- sion. In Mark, Jesus’ primary concern after Peter’s confession is maturing those who believe so that they will follow him even after his death. He isn’t concerned with what the rest of the 12 think. He doesn’t require a confession of faith from each disciple. His concern quickly turns from taking statements of faith to teachings about discipleship.
First, Jesus begins readying them for what will happen next. He tells them about how he will suffer and die. It is clear that Peter isn’t ready for Jesus to reveal the difficult future that lies ahead. He scolds Peter for not having in mind the things of God. In one moment Peter has an incredible statement of faith, in the next moment it becomes clear that Peter isn’t a mature disci-
ple. Second, Jesus delivers a lesson on discipleship and what is expected of his disciples. It is in this passage when Jesus stops asking questions about “who am I.” Instead Jesus turns the focus of the 12 apostles to “who are you?” In his sermon on discipleship he is asking the crowd, and more-so the disci- ples “now that you know who I am . . . who are you? Will you really follow me to the end?”
Who do you believe Jesus is? If that you believe, quick second question is... “who are you?” Will you really follow him to the end?