Follow in Faith

Key Verse: “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.”
—Mark 8:29

Lesson Scripture:
Mark 8:27 – 9:8

CONTINUING IN THIS series of studies on the subject of faith, we now turn our attention to Jesus’ question to his disciples when he asked them: “Whom do men say that I am?” (Mark 8:27) He received a variety of answers to his question. The disciples said that some thought he might be John the Baptist, while others thought he was Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of Israel’s prophets of old. The people evidently believed that he could have been any one of these men in some kind of resurrected body.

Jesus then narrowed his inquiry to the disciples themselves when he further asked, “But whom say ye that I am?” (vs. 29) It was at this point that he began to reveal the purpose of his ministry. He was searching for an indication of the disciples’ level of faith and confidence in his being the promised Messiah. Turning to Matthew’s account, because of further details in this important conversation, we read, “Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:16,17) He was very pleased with Peter’s answer as an evidence of his degree of understanding and faith.

“He charged them that they should tell no man of him. And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (Mark 8:30,31) Peter, however, was ready to come to the Master’s defense. He was shocked to learn that our Lord must suffer many things at the hands of Israel’s religious leaders, and that he would give his life in the process.

Jesus was about to teach Peter, and his other disciples, that to be one of his followers they, too, must be prepared to suffer many things for the Gospel of Christ. “When he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (vss. 34,35) The way to the spiritual High Calling was about to be opened up for the footstep followers of Christ, and these were important instructions for those who were being directed to be a part of this wonderful calling.

The ninth chapter opens with the transfiguration scene. Peter, James, and John were invited by our Lord to see many things that would open the eyes of their understanding. By miraculous power he transformed himself to the spirit condition, thus revealing spiritual things to these three apostles. They saw him in shining raiment, which portrayed his future glory in the coming kingdom. “There was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.”—Mark 9:7

We are now living in the closing years of the Gospel Age harvest. The way to the High Calling in Christ Jesus is drawing to a close as the Lord’s people finish their courses. It is a narrow way that leads to spiritual life, and blessed are they who find it. Let us follow him faithfully even unto death.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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