People have all kinds of opinions about who Jesus is. He has been called everything from a respected teacher to a mythical religious figure to a fraud. But the all-important question is, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” There is no more important question to answer, and it’s the question Jesus poses to his disciples in Mark 8:31–9:1. In this message, David Platt urges us to consider and respond to this question. And as we do, we must rely on God’s Spirit to open the eyes of our hearts. Only by God’s grace will see Jesus as the Messiah sent by God to redeem sinners through his life, death, and resurrection.
What does the passage say?
Aloud as a group, read Mark 8:22–26 (review from last week) and then Mark 8:27–30. Take some time to let group members share observations about Mark 8:27–30. Try not to move into interpretation of the passage or application of what you have read quite yet. Simply share what you all observe from the text.
- In these passages, what do you observe about—
- Jesus interacting with His disciples as they traveled?
- Different understandings among people about who Jesus was?
- Peter’s response to Jesus’ question?
- The significance of this conversation taking place soon after the healing of the blind man?
- How would you explain or summarize these passages in your own words?
What does the passage mean?
- In this passage Jesus makes it clear that we must understand who He is if we are to follow Him as disciples. Take some time as a group to think through the previous context from Mark 1–8. How do we know that Jesus is not simply a prophet but that He is the Son of God? (See Mark 1:1, Mark
1:11, Mark 3:11, Mark 5:7)
- What is the distinction between a) seeing Jesus’ works as good examples for believers to imitate (i.e., seeing Jesus as a good moral teacher or prophet), and b) understanding His works as reflections of His person, His power, and His gospel, and as pointers to (i.e., signs of) His coming kingdom? What is the danger of the former perspective? How might the latter perspective redefine your relationship and walk with the LORD? How might it reshape your outreach to others?
- See Matthew’s account of this story in Matthew 16:13–20. This passage (v.18) is the first time in the Bible that we see the word church. Peter had just confessed that Jesus is the Christ. Then, Jesus makes this statement about the church that He is building upon Peter and his confession of faith. What are the implications of seeing Jesus rightly for the church?
How can we apply this passage to our lives?
- What is keeping you personally from setting your eyes on Jesus? What things grab your gaze and attention in distraction? What might you do differently to keep your eyes fixed rightly on Jesus this week?
- How can you confidently share who Jesus with the world this week?
- This week we got to hear three testimonies from some of our elder candidates. We heard their testimonies of seeing Jesus for who He really is and we heard how they gave their lives to Him as their Lord and Savior. Are there members in your Church Group who would like to share their testimony of how they first saw Jesus for who He is?
- Take some to time to let members share their stories.
- Take some time to thank God for His work in our lives.
We need to see and understand who Jesus really is.
- We need to see Jesus according to His Word.
- We need to proclaim Jesus confidently in the world.