Today is Pentecost Sunday. Fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus the Holy Spirit came to permanently indwell believers and the church was born. Jason Jimenez shared from Mark 8: 27-38. In this text we encounter a rock. We are introduced to a key. And Jesus talks about the cross.
Jesus asked his disciples a very important question in verse 27. “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus already knew the answer but He wanted his disciples to think it through. This question was followed up with a more pointed question in verse 29. “But who do you say that I am?” The word “you” in this question is plural and emphatic.
Peter’s answer rings throughout the history of Christianity. The Father revealed the answer to Peter and he said, “You are the Christ.” This confession came in the context of a pagan culture. Jesus wanted to know if they would confess Christ even if they were surrounded by enemies and people who disagreed with them.
This confession pointed to the authority of the Father. It is on this confession that Christ would build His church. The foundation of the church rests on Christ alone and not Peter or any other person. The image of a rock surely made them think back to Psalm 18:2, 31, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge…For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?”
This confession comes with a key. The key carries with it the idea of access and authority to admit or not admit entrance. With this confession, they would reflect what was already a reality in heaven.
Jesus spoke about the cost of following Him in verses 34-38. He talked about denying ourselves and taking up His cross and following Him. Following Christ is not easy. But it is joyful and fulfilling. Do not be ashamed of Christ.
Questions to Consider:
Who do you say Jesus is? Who do you know who would answer differently than you?
In what ways are you faithfully living in the power and authority of Jesus?
What does it mean to deny yourself and take up His cross and follow Jesus? How would you think differently regarding following Christ if you lived in a place that persecuted Christians?