Friday, December 16, 2011

"You are the Christ"

Mark 8:27-30 (ESV) 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. Jesus is testing his disciples. People it seems are all over the map regarding Jesus, offering all sorts of explanations for his ministry and miracles. The disciples only list the pious explanations. The Pharisees of course had others, Beelzebub for one. But the disciples know that Jesus is the Christ. Everyone was expecting the Christ, the Messiah. Funny, these are terms that don’t appear in the Old Testament. This is a term that contemporaries of Jesus had come up with to give title to what the Old Testament talked about. Throughout the Old Testament there are cryptic prophecies. In fact Genesis 3 gives us the proto gospel, Moses talked of one who would come after him. Isaiah talked of a suffering servant. The scriptures testified of Jesus, just as Jesus said, (John 5:39). But you don’t find a comprehensive description, just cryptic prophesies, and often these prophecies talked about the end, the so called day of the lord, in the same breath as they talked about the “Messiah.” Of course, this gave rise to quite a bit of mystery, and confusion concerning Christ, and most were not as perceptive as Peter in this regard, and those who lined the streets of Jerusalem cheering Jesus as the Messiah they knew he was, expected him to do quite different things than he did. Some still expect him to do quite different things than he did. They expected an earthly reign and a millennial kingdom. It is these “myths” that Paul warns Titus about, perhaps the earliest heresy to infect the church, and one that keeps returning in different guises. Thankfully though, Jesus was the Christ, and he didn’t do what others thought he would, there dreams were to small, and that is the problem with the dreams today, they are earthbound, the thoughts of man, but Jesus had bigger plans, that had to do with eternity in heaven. Having not the thoughts of man in his head, he picked up his cross, and sacrificed himself to win with his death, eternal salvation for all.

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