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A Devil Of An Idea


Mark 8:27-33

 I want you to look at verse 29 again. In this verse Jesus asks His disciples, as well as all of us,  the most significant and important question that you could ever be asked because the answer to this question has eternal consequences.

But now, look at Peter’s answer to this question found in vs. 29. Peter answers and says, “Thou art the Christ.”

For some time now in the book of Mark, Jesus’ identity has been a topic of debate.

In the 2nd chapter they let a man down through the roof and Jesus tells the man “your sins are forgiven” and he gets up and walks.

Later in the same chapter some of the Pharisees begin to gossip, “Why does He eat with tax
collectors and sinners?”

And then in chapter 3 you see the first “professional” opinion about Jesus.

And then in chapter 4 the disciples are on the boat in a storm and Jesus is asleep… and they
wake Him up and He speaks to the storm and He tells the storm to be “still” and it obeys.

And then in chapter 6 He goes to preach in His own home town and the people say, “What is
this? Where did this man get these things? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?”

We could go on and on…but the point is…up to this point in the book of Mark, everyone seems to be trying to figure out ‘”who Jesus is.”

So now, look at verse 27. In verse 27 Jesus goes with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi.

Now the disciples would have made good politicians. Notice what they say.

“Some say you are John the Baptist; and others say you are Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.”

They say only the good things: “We hear people say that you might be John the Baptist,  or you might be Elijah. They even say that you might be one of the prophets.”

But the problem with a little bit a truth is it contains a whole lot of lie.

And that is the same thing that is so prevalent today.

And that is what most religions outside of Christianity do with Christ.

And so look at what Jesus does next. In verse 29 He asks His disciples…“What do you say? Who do you say that I am ? “

And look at what Peter says.

Peter had seen and heard all that Jesus had done and said and He concluded that Jesus was more than just another man.

But let me tell you a mistake that we make when we hear Peter’s confession.

That is not what Peter meant when he said this.

You see, they could not separate religion from political freedom.

And when Peter said, “You are the Christ” that is what he was thinking.

And Jesus can’t let Peter go out spreading a wrong concept about who He was.

And in vs. 31 He begins to teach them more about what He must do as the Messiah. Look at what it says:

“And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed and after three days rise again.”

Why did Jesus have to teach them this?

And the disciples who are planning on being a part of this new regime didn’t like it when Jesus tells them that He must die.

And Jesus turns around and he rebukes Peter and he says, “You get behind me Satan.”

And when Jesus tells Peter “to get behind Him”, He is telling Peter to return to where a true disciple belongs.

Messiah that he wanted!

When it comes to the question of “Who Jesus is”, Satan is actively involved in trying to distort your view.

If he can cause you to settle on a wrong view of Jesus…

Let me ask you this: How many times does the Bible talk about and warn against the sin of Idolatry?

The appeal of idolatry is that you get to shape God into the image that most pleases you.

Now that is something that we think that pagans do.

Watch some of the preachers on TV some time.

Now, we laugh at that. . . and we watch those guys on TV fashion Jesus that way.

When we fashion Jesus to fit what we want we are doing exactly what Satan wants us to.

When Jesus calls Peter “Satan”…He was exactly right. . . for Peter was doing exactly what Satan wanted him to do.

In this passage Peter called Jesus the “Christ.”

When you make choices this coming week, when you start your day and you face the things that are going to come before you, what view of Jesus is going to shape your decision? Is it going to be the one of a Messiah with a cross…or is it going to be one of your own making that lets you avoid the hard choices?

Who is Jesus? I don’t care if you are not a Christian or if you have been a Christian for 50 years, I want you this morning to answer that question, “Who is Jesus of Nazareth?” It is the most intensely debated question in history. It is the most important question you will ever answer…and I warn you that your answer can cost you your soul…or it can also save it.