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14: Jesus the Christ (Mk 8:27-9:13)
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I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Everything Jesus had done so far hinted at His identity and the purpose of His mission. Now, the humble servant was clearly identified as the King and Savior. First, Peter was moved to confess that Jesus is the Christ. Then, in the transfiguration, Jesus revealed His divine glory. He also began to teach harder lessons, such as denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and losing one’s life for the gospel.

B.     Key Verse

            “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it” (8:34-35).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.      Caesarea Philippi (8:27): A town in the tetrarchy of Herod Philip, Antipas’ brother. It was 30 miles from Tyre and 25 miles north of Galilee. The region was especially pagan. It was a Canaanite sanctuary for the worship of Baal. The Greeks called it Paneas in honor of the god Pan.

2.      Christ (8:29): From the Greek word meaning, “the Anointed One.” In Hebrew, it is “Messiah.” The title had a political connotation because it denoted an ideal king empowered by God to deliver his people and to establish his kingdom.

3.      “Son of Man” (8:31): Jesus’ favorite self-designation in the gospel books. We can derive two meanings from the Old Testament. First, the prophet Daniel saw a vision of “One like a Son of Man” who was given an everlasting kingdom (Dan 7:13-14). This identifies Jesus as a king—a theme explored more fully in Matthew. Second, the prophet Ezekiel used the phrase “the son of man” at least 90 times, referring to himself and his mission. Therefore, the phrase also identifies Jesus as a servant of God.

4.      Cross (8:34): An instrument of death. It was detested by both the Jews (cf. Deut 21:22-23) and the Romans as a shameful way to die. Crucifixion was reserved for the worst criminals and the lowest class; a Roman citizen could not be crucified except by direct order of Caesar.

5.      Rabbi (9:5): A respectful term used by the Jews to address their spiritual instructor.

II.    Observation

A.     Outline

















B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1.      What is the best part about believing in Jesus Christ? What is the toughest?

2.      Share a moment when you were inspired spiritually. How did that experience help you grow in faith?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     8:27-30

1. Why did Jesus ask the disciples about the people’s opinion of Him?

2. What does the people’s opinion tell you about their understanding of Jesus?

3. How did Peter know Jesus is the Christ? Does this mean the disciples finally understood who Jesus is?

4. Why did Jesus want to keep His identity as the Christ a secret (8:30; 9:9)?

5. Who do you say Jesus is?

B.     8:31-9:1

6. Why did Peter rebuke Jesus? What does this teach us about jumping to conclusions?

7. Why did Jesus call Peter “Satan”?

8a. Peter took Jesus aside privately to rebuke Him. Why did Jesus rebuke him publicly before the other disciples?

8b. Share one of your past mistakes that can be used to teach other believers.

9a. What is your cross? How do you take up your cross?

9b. What does it mean to save or lose one’s life in this world?

10. What tempts you to exchange your soul?

11. Give examples of being ashamed of Jesus.

12. Explain 9:1. (For teachings on the kingdom of God, see Lesson 7).

C.     9:2-13

13. Why was it Elijah and Moses who appeared? (cf. Mal 4:4-6).

14a. Were Peter’s words (9:5) appropriate? Why or why not?

14b. Have you ever spoken something hastily? What was the result?

15. What is the purpose of the transfiguration? Compare it to what Jesus said in 9:1.

16. After the transfiguration, “suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves” (9:8). What does the disappearance of Moses and Elijah teach us about the role of God’s workers?

17. While discussing the meaning of “rising from the dead,” Peter, James, and John asked about Elijah. Why? (cf. Mal 4:5).

18. The disciples obeyed Jesus, even while trying to figure out what He meant (9:9-10). Share an example of how you obeyed the word of God even though you did not fully understand.

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