Who do you say I am?

The Miracles of Jesus

 February 28, 2021

The Second Sunday in Lent

Mark 8:27-30

Have you ever played the game of “Heads Up?”

It’s available as a box game, or you can use your cell phone to play it too. It’s a pretty simple game that is along the lines of charades. You either have a headband around your head with a card facing out towards your partner(s), or you can download the app for the game on your phone. Then you place your phone facing outward against your forehead.

The card or phone can have the name of a person, place, thing, song, etc. My favorite is when the name of a famous person comes up, and your partner has to give you clues about who the person is. You have a certain amount of time to guess the famous person’s name from their hints.

It’s a pretty hilarious game, as you try to give the person holding the card or phone clues without saying the person’s name.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus asks His disciples two questions. In this case, it’s not a game; it’s a test.

“Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”

But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.”

At this still-early point in Jesus’ ministry, His disciples had witnessed many things. They had seen Jesus heal the sick and lame, drive out evil spirits, show love, and empathize with others. They also heard Him speak with authority concerning God, heaven, hell, and what was right and wrong.

So, we find the disciples walking with Jesus near Caesarea Philippi when He turns to them and asks question number one.

“Who do people say I am?”

Don’t think for an instant that they gave Jesus a quick reply. He had caught them off guard with this question, quite out of the blue. I’m sure they all looked at each other to say, “Well, we’ve talked about this amongst ourselves, but we never expected Jesus to ask us about it.”

The passage gives the impression that the question was asked for anyone to answer. It seems that’s what happened. Several of the disciples responded:

“some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”

Fair enough, they were all right answers. But then came the million-dollar question. This was a one-question test Jesus was administering. Had the disciples been paying attention? Over their many months together, had they realized who He was?

“But who do you say I am?”

The first question was easy. This one was loaded. Can you see all of the disciple’s mouths slightly opening as their eyes turn toward each other, with all of them finally falling on the most outspoken person in the group?

Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”

Bam! Bells go off, a buzzer rings, and confetti falls from above, Heads Up, they won. The disciples got it. Jesus’ time with them had paid off.

Messiah and the word Jesus are both defined as “The anointed one.” Jesus was consecrated and appointed by God. Although the disciples understood who he was, they had yet to fully realize that He was indeed a King and Priest. Jesus was here not to rule but to offer Himself as a sacrifice for everyone.

Dear Lord. Please open our eyes, minds, and hearts to who your Son Jesus is. Help us to share the Good News of the Gospel with everyone, so they may know that because of your Grace and through our (their)Faith, they are saved and now can live eternally with you. Amen 

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