What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus is the promised Christ! (verse 20)
- Jesus is on a mission—to go to Jerusalem, to die, and to be raised again (verses 21-22).
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Disciples might go from dead right to dead wrong in a moment (verses 16, 22)
- Don’t downplay the cost of what it will be to follow Jesus; Jesus didn’t (verse 24-26).
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Vs. 1-12-The conflict with the spiritual leaders continues and intensifies, doesn’t it? They come to Jesus asking for a sign. But they don’t really want a sign; they are playing “gotcha,”: “PROVE that you are who you are…despite the fact that we’ve seen you overwhelm the forces of nature, cure all manner of disease and preach as no one has ever preached before. Do something more spectacular.” It wouldn’t matter. Even when Jesus is raised from the dead (which is the sign of Jonah… after being in belly of whale for 3 days)… instead of believing, they tried a cover-up that put Watergate to shame.
Vs. 13-20 – Notice, Jesus starts with easier, gossipy question: who do other people say I am? Everyone loves to speculate about others. NOW…He zeroes in with the most important question every human must answer: who do YOU say that I am. Peter’s greatest moment… to be followed by one of his most embarrassing.
Vs. 21- Jesus explains His suffering and death as essential. How can this make sense? Peter…don’t you love this…rebukes him. NEVER. And Peter moves from “Rocky” to “Satan” in a few paragraphs. A journey we easily make back and forth every day!
Vs 24- Look at this… KEY. We do not want to say “NO” to ourselves. Yet Jesus says we must if we would follow Him. How much more could we imitate Christ if we learned to say “No” to ourselves? And if we believed… really believed… that the “world is not enough” as James Bond might say…if we lose our soul to get it.
Takeaway—Jesus fearlessly and relentlessly resists religious rules and rulers. He leads us into a spiritual battle with the forces of darkness against which we WILL prevail. (The only place that “church” is mentioned by Jesus) But we must be willing to go the way of sacrifice, self-denial and death to tap into that power.