Rev. Dan Speckhard, pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church and School in North Judson, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Mark 8:27-9:1.
As Jesus prepares for His journey south to Jerusalem, He goes to the northern region of Israel. He eases His disciples into answering the question that stands at the center of the Gospel: “Who is Jesus?” The answers of the people in Israel are on the right track, but they are incomplete. The disciples cannot be bystanders to this question, however. Jesus asks them directly, and Peter answers correctly: “You are the Christ.” Jesus uses this as His opportunity to teach them plainly that He must suffer, die, and rise. Astonishingly, Peter rebukes Jesus, showing that Peter and the other disciples do not fully see Jesus yet. Firmly, yet graciously, Jesus puts Peter and the others in their place and continues to teach them. To follow Jesus is to follow Him into death and then resurrection. Although this is paradoxical to sinful sensibilities, this is the Christian life that seeks God’s kingdom above all else. Jesus does not simply serve as the example for us, though. He is first and foremost our Savior as He sacrifices His own life for ours.
“The Gospel in Action” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Mark. The Evangelist hits the ground running with the very first verse of his Gospel account, and he never lets up the pace. As one deed of Jesus comes right after another, always paired with His authoritative Word, St. Mark proclaims the good news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, revealed conclusively by His death on the cross.