by Philip Layton
Jesus miraculously feeds 4,000 people and heals a blind man
- The feeding of the 4,000 was impressive, yet two chapters earlier we read about Jesus feeding 5,000 with less food! Do you think that this miracle adds to the credibility and authenticity of the reports?
- What do you think the ‘cross’ is that Jesus refers to in verse 34?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag.
Going Deeper – from 'Words of Life'
We can all make small talk; ask about the family, the weather. Yet when it comes to essentials, Jesus is the teacher par excellence. He poses a general question, and then comes to the very heart of the matter: ‘…but what about you ?’ It is a straight-in-the-eye ‘tell me what you think’! It’s an invitation to be honest and open up. He’s genuinely interested.
Here, at the centre of Mark’s Gospel, we find the key question: ‘Who do you say I am?’ Mark turns the Old Testament revelation of God – the ‘I AM’ who appeared to Moses (Exodus 3:14) – into a question. Jesus invites his followers to seriously consider who he is for them: he is getting very personal, up-close, with this conversation! The one who is asking is there, waiting for a response. He has entered into our world. He invites us into a relationship. He expects us to respond to his questioning. Our response defines our whole life: because he is, we are.
Peter’s answer merits full marks. However, he is sent to the back of the class when he rebukes Jesus for having mentioned his suffering, rejection and death before he rises again (v 31). Jesus’ stern words to Peter make it evident the disciples have much yet to learn. They are journeying with their Master on the way to the Cross and that should never be forgotten. He is indeed the anointed one, but not in the way expected: his followers have difficulty accepting that suffering and rejection may be part of who Jesus is.
Some people think Jesus is someone of the past – a good man, a carpenter, a teacher, even a ‘superstar’ who performed miracles. He is the Son of God, the Son of Man, our contemporary. He is the great ‘I AM’.
Today, the Lord asks: ‘Who do you say I am?’ It’s a personal question that only I can answer.
Beverly IvanyTags: Mark