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Mark 8 v 27 - 30

The advantage of these studies is that we have the opportunity to look at each verse in Mark's Gospel . Mark tells the reader that Jesus and His disciples were in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, which were outside Galilee, historically a centre for Baal worship and in the days of Jesus attributed to the birthplace of the Greek god, Pan. There would have been a huge temple to Caesar on the hillside.

In the midst of all this pagan worship, Peter-representing the disciples-declared that Jesus was the Son of God: against the background of thousands of years of spirituality he had discovered that a wandering teacher, a homeless Galilean carpenter was the Messiah! Right in the centre of Mark's Gospel, the writer brings to the reader the revelation that the man we have been reading about was God incarnate! Jesus had challenged His disciples and they had told Him what others were saying about Him, but the most important question for Him was what they thought of Him. When they answered, He told them that they had to keep quiet about it. Why? Because their idea of the Messiah and the true Messiah were very different things. Who do you think Jesus is? I often have people telling me that they reject certain parts of the Scriptures because ''That isn't my Jesus, He wouldn't behave like that''. We worship Jesus, but we get our knowledge of Jesus from the Bible. Yes, we know Him in our hearts, but our experience of who He is must match with the Biblical account otherwise we are worshipping a God of our own creation. At other times, some people will confess that they rarely if ever read the Bible: how will you get to know the central one in your life unless you read about Him!?

The Jewish nation believed in a Messiah who would destroy the Romans and bring them world power and security, with peace. Jesus was to show His disciples the Suffering Messiah, the way of death which would bring lasting victory over evil and death for all who would take hold of Him.

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