Beyond the Weekend

November 23 | Identity of the Messiah

November 23, 2020


Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say that I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am? Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Mark 8:27-29

Read: Mark 8:27-29

Listen: Mark 8


Today’s verses are right in the middle of the Gospel of Mark. Pastor John Dickson told us that even if the original scrolls were unrolled and folded in half, the crease would land right in this passage. However, this isn’t just the physical center of the book of Mark. It’s the thematic center as well.  In this section of Scripture, we learn four key themes of the book of Mark: the identity, the mission, the following and the credentials of the Messiah. We’ll be looking at each of those this week.

This passage answers the key question, “Who is Jesus?” Be sure to circle the characters on pages 75–76 in the journal and notice everyone seemed to think quite well of Jesus and who he was. People thought he might be John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the prophets. This was high praise as these were each highly influential historical figures. People today still have a complementary view of Jesus. Almost everyone believes he was a profoundly influential historical figure and a good moral teacher.

But this story teaches that these views about Jesus are just flattering misconceptions. As we watch the disciples get this wrong repeatedly throughout Mark, it should be clearer for us. Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world and the Son of God. We must wrestle with that same question, “Who is Jesus?” Are we like the crowds with a complimentary view of him, or do we see him for who he is?


Spend some time evaluating who Jesus is to you. Is he a good teacher and influential historical figure? Or is he your Savior, your Messiah who has the power to be the Lord of your life?

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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