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A Challenging Encounter

A Challenging Encounter

Perry Duggar |

Peter was rebuked for wanting Jesus to fit into his plan and fulfill his desire of what the Messiah should be.

A Challenging Encounter
Encounter with Christ – Message 9
Perry Duggar
August 29, 2021

Introduction: I will continue the message series, Encounter with Christ.

John 3:36; 20:31

  1. Today’s title and focus is, A Challenging Encounter.
    Through Jesus’ many encounters with different people, in different circumstances, we see the personality, as well as the purpose, of Jesus.
  2. In this encounter with Peter and the disciples, Jesus challenged their understanding of His identity and the plan for achieving His purpose.
  3. Theme verse: Mark 8:29 (NLT)—…“But who do you say I am?”
  4. This is life’s most important question! Have you answered it?
  5. It has ultimate significance because it, not only controls how you live on earth, but also determines your eternal destiny.

Jesus’ challenging conversation revealed…
A. #1 - Popular opinions [about Jesus’ identity] are irrelevant. (Mark 8:27-28. C/R: Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Malachi 4:5; Matthew 14:1-2; John 2:24-25)

  1. Mark 8:27a (NLT)—Jesus and His disciples [who had been together for more than two years] left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi.
  2. The city was located 25 miles NE of the Sea of Galilee, named by Herod’s son, Phillip, to honor the emperor Caesar Augustus; it became known as Caesarea Philippi to distinguish it from another Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea (Caesarea Maritima).
  3. Mark 8:27b (NLT)—As they were walking along, He asked them, “Who do people [Greek anthrōpŏs] say I am?”
  4. Anthrōpŏs indicates Jesus was not referring to a specific group, such as the religious leaders, but to the crowd that gathered to hear Him teach and watch His miracles.
  5. Jesus already knew what the people thought about Him [John 2:24-25], but He wanted His disciples to consider carefully what these people who followed Him thought about His true identity after more than two years of observing Him.
  6. Mark 8:28 (NLT)—“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”
  7. Some people believed Jesus was John the Baptist, risen from the dead to announce the arrival of the Messiah; Herod Antipas, who beheaded John, did! [Matthew 14:1-2; Mark 6:14-16]
  8. Other people said Jesus was Elijah, returned from the dead, because the great Old Testament prophet was expected to be the forerunner of the Messiah. [Malachi 4:5]
  9. Jewish Passover celebrations (Seders), pour a glass of wine at the end of the meal for Elijah, in the hope of his appearing to announce the Messiah’s arrival.
  10. One of the other prophets indicated that people thought Jesus was some other Old Testament prophet—an agent of God’s power—but not the Messiah. [Deuteronomy 18:15-18]
  11. Some thought Jesus was Jeremiah, which Jewish tradition taught would return with the Ark of the Covenant at the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom. [Items?]
  12. In spite of Jesus’ irrefutable miracles, which proved the presence of divine power, the people did not believe He was the Messiah, so they considered Him a prophet. Why?
  13. They expected their Messiah to defeat their Roman occupiers and set up a kingdom in Israel, so they were unwilling to embrace this Nazarene commoner as the Messiah.
  14. These people could not deny Jesus’ supernatural power, but they would not accept Him as Messiah and Savior—because their expectations blinded them to Jesus’ identity!
  15. In our culture, especially in the South, He is thought to be the Son of God, the Savior, but not recognized as the Lord and ruler of our lives, which in His true, biblical identity.
  16. Popular opinion is that He desires to forgive us if we merely ask, but the relationship that results from forgiveness is one-sided: we do what we want and He forgives.
  17. This is a caricature, a misrepresentation, of Christ, who wants to be involved with us daily, intimately, leading and guiding us in in every area of our lives.
  18. ILL.: Many do cite the name of God—and sometimes, Jesus—but do so regarding issues or subjects in ways that violate who He represents Himself to be in the Bible.
  19. Jesus is who He is! We can’t fashion Him into someone who endorses our moral or political positions—we must conform our life and views to Him!
  20. APP.: What influences your understanding of Jesus’ identity? Your own ideas or preferences? The opinions of others? Media or social media? Or God’s Word?

Jesus’ challenging conversation revealed…
B. #2 - Personal conviction is crucial. (Mark 8:29-30. C/R: Matthew 11:1-3; 16:15-17; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 2:12)

  1. Mark 8:29a (NLT)—Then He asked them, “But who do you [emphasis] say I am?”
    Redirecting the question to His disciples implied that Jesus expected a different answer.
  2. Like all Jews, the disciples had been taught, and desired, the arrival of a mighty military leader who would defeat Israel’s enemies and establish His kingdom in Jerusalem.
  3. When it became clear that the religious leaders rejected Jesus and He would not lead an uprising against their Roman enemies, the disciples had to wonder whether they were wrong about His identity. (John the Baptist doubted; Matthew 11:1-3)
  4. Mark 8:29b (NLT)—Peter replied [often the first to speak], “You are the Messiah.” [Hebrew term, Christ, Greek term, both mean “Anointed One,” the deliverer of Israel;
  5. Luke 9:20 adds, “…sent from God!” Matthew 16:16 adds, “the Son of the Living God.”]
  6. Without hesitation, Peter declared Jesus to be the Messiah, the Savior of the World!
  7. Peter was convinced of Jesus’ identity, but he was not merely speaking an opinion he had developed based on his observation. [1 Corinthians 2:12]
  8. Matthew 16:17 (NLT)—Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because My Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”
  9. This certainty came through spiritual revelation, supported by significant evidence.
  10. Remember that many observed Jesus’ miracles and heard Him teach, but did not believe.
  11. APP.: Jesus asks that question to each of us: “Who do you think I am?”
  12. Romans 10:9–10 (NLT)—9If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. [APP.: Have you believed? Do you declared your faith?]
  13. Mark 8:30 (NLT)—But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about Him.
  14. Jesus knew His work was not yet finished, the gospel message was incomplete, because His suffering, death and resurrection still lay ahead.
  15. It was not yet time for them to start spreading the Good News.

Jesus’ challenging conversation revealed…
C. #3 - Particular commitment [to God’s plan] is essential. (Mark 8:31-33. C/R: Isaiah 53; Mark 8:34; Luke 4:13; Acts 2:22-24)

  1. Mark 8:31 (NLT)—Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man [Most common title used for Himself, from Daniel 7:13; emphasized His humanness.] must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later He would rise from the dead.
  2. I think the disciples were shocked to hear of Jesus’ future suffering, rejection and death.
  3. They knew He was the Messiah—and could not comprehend the thought that He would and be abused and murdered.
  4. Jesus had spoken about His death, but He did so in indirect ways, [Matthew 12:40: “Son of Man will be three days in the belly of the earth, like Jonah in the fish’s belly;” John 2:19: “Destroy this temple and I’ll raise it up in three days”], but now He stated it plainly.
  5. The disciples were convinced that Jesus was a divine person, but now they struggled with the divine plan—perhaps not hearing, or overlooking, the reference to the resurrection (or thinking He meant the final resurrection).
  6. Though many Old Testament passages predicted that the Messiah must suffer, they were misinterpreted and mistaught, so Jewish people could not conceive of a suffering Savior.
  7. Mark 8:32 (NLT)—As He talked about this openly with His disciples, Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him for saying such things.
  8. Peter rebuked Jesus! Was it out of concern for the man he loved being rejected and murdered? Or, was it because it was not what he wanted for Jesus or for himself?
  9. He and the other disciples had left their jobs, friends, family members to follow Jesus.
  10. They depended on Him spiritually, but also practically, for support and direction; they planned to rule with Him when He established His kingdom.
  11. Mark 8:33 (NLT)—Jesus turned around and looked at His disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from Me, Satan!” He said. [Matthew 16:23 adds: “You are a dangerous trap to Me.”] “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
  12. By opposing the plan of God and scolding Jesus for speaking of suffering and death, Peter became a spokesman for the devil.
  13. Did Satan literally influence Peter’s words to Jesus? Perhaps, after tempting Jesus in the wilderness, the devil left continued looking for opportunities to attack Jesus. (Luke 4:13)
  14. How many of us fail to see God clearly and know Him intimately, because our expectations of Him and preferences for Him, obscure who He reveals Himself to be?
  15. APP.: How many of us ignore, avoid, frustrate, God’s will for our lives because we have our own plans for ourselves?
  16. The very next verse (our memory verse this week), Mark 8:34 (NLT) says, Then, calling the crowd to join His disciples, He said, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me.”
  17. APP.: Are you willing to die to your own plan and dreams, goals and ambitions, so you can follow Jesus wherever He leads?

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