“Who do you say that I am?” It’s one of the most important questions that Jesus ever asked. What you think about Jesus determines the path of your entire life. Many say he was a good man, a great teacher, or a prophet. But who is Jesus to you? How you answer that question will affect every other aspect of your life.
- Are you willing to know and walk with Jesus in a way that is different from most people in our culture?
READ THE WORD: MARK 8:27-38 (ESV)
27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Peter seemed to have a view of who Jesus, the Messiah, should be and what he should do. Do you find yourself struggling with who God is or who you want him to be in order to fit your desires?
- Jesus alone gets to decide what following him means. He speaks of denying yourself, taking up the cross and following him daily, and losing yourself in that calling. Where is Jesus calling you to follow right now, and are you obeying, hesitating, or simply refusing to follow?
- Is there anything Jesus is calling you to deny right now that you are not willing to give up?
- What does it mean to lose yourself in Jesus?
RESPOND TO GOD
Do you ever feel ashamed of Jesus? Do you ever feel you have to defend who Jesus is based on bad perceptions in our culture? Simple question, but are you following the biblical Jesus or a cultural Jesus? Today might be a time to draw a line in the sand and decide to follow Jesus fully.
- Lord, please help me to follow you regardless of the path and regardless of the struggles. I know that in the place of suffering and trial your presence will overwhelm me, and your love will sustain me.
- Thank the Lord for a time of struggle and recount the ways he walked with you through it. Pray for the future struggles that will come your way and that in the midst of those struggles you would boldly proclaim who the biblical Jesus is: the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One!