07/28/2021 Peter’s confession

Peter’s confession

Mark 8:26-38; BCBC/IOUC; 7/28/2021; Rev. Paul Wang

Introduction

Peter’s confession meant that Jesus was recognized by his disciples as Christ, the Messiah, and the Son of God. Since Peter, for more than two thousand years, all those who follow Jesus Christ have been doing the same thing, which is to know Christ. What about you? Do you know? Let’s look at the first point:

Who do people say I am?

Who do people say I am? This is what Jesus Christ often said between his disciples. Do you know the meaning of this? First, make the blind see. It has become an iconic word to make the blind see. Mark put the blindly-seen story above Peter’s confession, so that when people read it, they will remember the identity of Christ, and the reason has been since ancient times. The call of Christ is regarded as the covenant of all nations and the light of nations. And then the eyes of the blind will open, and the ears of the deaf will open! John the Baptist was taken into prison by Herod, and his faith was weak. He entrusted his disciples to ask Jesus, are you the one to come? Jesus replied, “Go and tell him what you have seen: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. (Matthew 11:5)

Secondly, who do people say I am? What was the purpose of Jesus and his disciples for about three and a half years? He led his disciples throughout the cities and villages, healed the sick,cast out demons, preached and shared testimony. The ultimate goal was to let the disciples know who Jesus is! What about you, do you know who Jesus is? Since ancient times, the question of who Jesus is has never stopped. Jesus asked his disciples on the road: Who do people say I am? This should be the views of those who do not believe in the Lord. Of course, the disciples reported truthfully:They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets. (Mark 8:28) At this moment, the disciples’ knowledge of the Lord is still at the stage of”rumors “ where”they said, some said, and others said”. Jesus was right in front of them, but they turned a blind eye. What about you? Believing in the Lord may have been for many years, and may still remain in the “rumor” stage, spinning on the road to heaven, will it?

Finally, who do you say I am? Jesus’ words changed. If you want to continue to mess around, it seems that it is no longer possible. You must face the Lord directly. He asked again and said to the disciples: “Who do you say I am?” At this time, the disciples had to face the Master who had followed him for three years. Who is He? This is our problem too! We have believed in the Lord for many years, and we still don’t have a relationship of following commitment. For you, who is Jesus? Maybe you just came to church for some reason, but now you have been listening to the sermon for many years, and you have read the Bible. If you still don’t know who Jesus is today and what the meaning of the gospel is, then you may have to return to the faith class to make up lessons. Let’s look at the second point:

I say, “You are the Lord.”

The essence of faith is actually to know the Lord, and everyone must directly face the Lord and give account to the Lord. The first account to be handed in is the knowledge of the Lord. First of all, Jesus is the Christ. In verse 29, Peter answered quickly, 說: saying: “You are the Christ!” In the record of the book of Mark, immediately on verse 30, Jesus did not answer Peter. But in the book of Matthew, Jesus’ answer is very interesting.

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 16:17) The same is true for us today. If it were not for the Holy Spirit to reveal to us, no one would say that Jesus Christ is Lord, let alone believe that Jesus rose from the dead! Do you believe it? Please note that believing is not just knowing that there is God, but to love God, commit to Him, follow Him, and serve Him forever!

Second, Christ bears suffering. Matthew recorded the content of this passage from the perspective of heaven and ecclesiology. When Mark recorded this passage, he was looking at Jesus as the Messiah at the price that should be paid after following Christ. Only in one situation can we understand the suffering and death of Christ and despise our light and momentary troubles in the world. That is, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and even more so, our Lord! He is the Savior and is gracious to us; He is the Lord and he has authority over us! He manifested his identity as the Savior through suffering, rejection, and killing. He was resurrected from the dead three days later and had the authority to overcome death to show that he is the Lord of all things in the world!

Finally, how to face suffering. I remember that there was a very clever sister who was clever in everything, but she couldn’t understand why there was still suffering after believing in the Lord. She often said: If I suffered, then why would I still believe in the Lord! It’s useless to explain to her even when I wear out my tongue. I heard that she has played some “psychic” recently. In a word, people are reluctant to suffer, let alone suffer for the Lord! Peter faced suffering, especially when he heard that God will suffer. How could it be? He quickly stopped Jesus! What did Jesus say? Would Jesus say, you are really a competent big brother and you are loyal! No! The Lord even rebuked him and said, Satan, leave me behind. Because You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Let’s look at the third point:

Suffering awaits

Okay, today it’s our turn to think about this issue. What exactly is faith? What is the meaning of suffering for the Lord? What does Jesus mean when we have suffering in the world? First, take up the cross and follow the Lord. The prerequisite for carrying the cross is self-denial, and guaranteeing the quality of self-denial is to follow the Lord. The connotation of self-denial is to change the past habits so as to live new ones. From utilitarianism and self-interest, where man is not for himself and the world is extinguished, to love God and love others as himself, this is a change in life. Never go back to church, now go back to church, and you can’t stop the meeting. Is it easy? From tooth for tooth, blood for blood, to prayers and blessings for the one persecuting us. Do you tear down our cross? Do you destroy our church? Are you arresting our pastors, ministers, and Christians? Do you block our social media accounts? That’s because you are ignorant! The Lord prayed for you on the cross: Father, forgive them, because he did not know what he did! The essence of carrying the cross is to let go of the right to retaliate!

Second, remove the bondage of the old self. Jesus says:For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:35)” This is the “anti-correspondence” truth that often appears in the books of gospel, are you familiar with it? A grain of wheat fell on the ground and died, but instead produced many grains. If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! If we cling to our old selves, the new life Christ gives us cannot grow! To be willing, but still need to have the heart to get rid of the bondage, right? Can’t let go of the position of Sadducees, reluctant to lay down the party programme of Zealot, always wanting to join the ranks of the Pharisees, how can they be willing to follow the Lord, let alone suffer for the Lord!

Finally, transform the value of the world. If you believe in Jesus, and you noticed that your values ​​have not changed. If you should eat, drink, play, gamble, and drug, then you may not yet believe in the Lord. Jesus described the world today as an adulterous and sinful generation”, As a result, you are still enjoying that kind of life. Then you may not need to believe in Jesus and go to heaven, right? The two values ​​will definitely collide, do you agree? How do you humiliate the Lord today, and in the future before the Lord’s judgment seat, the Father will also treat you as shameful in the glory of Christ. Believing in the Lord, although the body is still in the world, our values ​​are the light in the world, attracting the children of God to come to the light!

Conclusion

Well, dear brothers and sisters, Peter’s confession is the knowledge, understanding, and confirmation of Christ! From hearing what people say about Jesus, to how you know the Lord, willing to suffer for the Lord, take up your own cross, and follow the Lord every day! Are you willing?

Let us pray ……

 

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