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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Life's Greatest Question

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. (Mark 8:29,30, NIV)

We are now at the turning point in Jesus’ ministry and for you personally. It is the most important question you will ever answer: “Who do you say Jesus is?”

For nearly three years Jesus had laid the foundation for asking this question. His messiahship was not the one expected by the religious teachers or the general population of the day. Both groups hoped for a ruler who would physically sit on David’s throne and expel the Romans, initiating the Day of God’s rule on earth.

Instead, Jesus brought a kingdom that must be voluntarily received, a rule that is not imposed from without but that grows up inside. Oh yes, certainly there will be a kingdom He brings in the future where all sin, disease and death are banished — but, for now, His kingdom is like seed sown into soil that is met with a variety of responses (Mark 4:1-20).

Had Jesus’ ministry fallen on any good ground? Did His disciples get it? Did they understand now that the Messiah, which literally means Anointed One, has come in the person of Jesus? Jesus’ question is the big test. It’s an examination with only one question, and it doesn’t require a long answer.

Unless this question is answered correctly, Jesus must delay His journey to the cross. He cannot begin walking to Jerusalem unless they’ve settled this matter in their hearts. And, if the Twelve never answer the question correctly, Jesus’ whole mission with them was in vain. He would need to start over with another group.

You may be thinking that I’m minimizing the Lord in saying this — that His mission depended on others. But that’s the truth isn’t it? How would we ever have known Him if we had not been told?

J.B. Phillips once imagined an account of a wondering angel in heaven who asked Jesus after His return from earth, “How will the world know?” Jesus answered, “I’m depending on my disciples to tell the story.” The angel replied, “But what if they don’t?” Then Jesus responded, “I have no other plan.”

Indeed there are some who will never know Jesus unless you tell them.

Who is Jesus? That’s the most important question you will ever answer. Not only is your eternal destiny at stake, but His purpose and plan for your life on this earth also hang in the balance. When you surrender to His identity you find your own.

After Peter says, “You are the Messiah,” Jesus warns them not to tell anyone. Why? Others in hearing the term “Messiah” would apply a different meaning to the term. It would take His own death and resurrection for others to fully understand what it means for Him to be Messiah.

You will notice that Mark omits the statements made by Jesus to Peter, as recorded in Matthew 16:17-19. Why?

If indeed, as early tradition indicates, Mark wrote down what Peter preached then it’s not surprising that Peter would minimize his own role. It is a characteristic in Mark that where Peter looks good in other Gospels (such as walking on water in Matthew 14:28-30), it’s left out by Mark.

It’s a good lesson for us to not boast of anything. The apostles focused on telling Jesus’ story and being humble about their own role.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, along with Peter I too say, “You are the Christ.” You are my Savior, King, Prophet, Priest and blessed Son of God. You are forever Lord.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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