Mark 6

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True Discipleship of a True God

Mark 8:27-9:50
Last week we covered one of the biggest sections of Mark that we will cover until we get to the crucifixion. This week we are going to finish Chapter 8 and all of Chapter 9.
As we remember last week Jesus performed several miracles including feeding of the 5000 and the 4000, but the apostles missed the significance of these miracles. We observed that the scribes, the pharisees have moved from trying to understand Jesus to questioning his adherence to tradition to outright defiance and demanding signs from Jesus. All the while Jesus is teaching his apostles and they are missing the point of Jesus teaching.
As we pick back up in Chapter 8 Verse 27 we see Jesus and his disciples are traveling to Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asks them:

“Who do people say that I am?”

Christian Standard Bible (Chapter 8)
“But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”

Jesus true God

Peter, answered that Jesus is the Messiah… and now we see that Jesus tells them to tell no one about him. Then teaches them that it was necessary for Him to to be rejected, to be killed, and to rise after three days.
Jesus is then rebuked by Peter! and Jesus then says to him Get behind me Satan! Now Jesus is not saying that Peter is Satan, but rather is more concerned about their own agenda rather that thinking about God’s concerns.
This is the work of Satan to keep us focused and worried about the needs of man rather that the work and the things of God.

Cost of Following Christ

Jesus then calls to the crowd that to follow Jesus, they must deny themselves and take up their cross.
Following Jesus will come at a cost. Whether that is a physical need, or even social status. We cannot make too little of the cross of Christ!

Jesus’ Glory Revealed

Jesus then takes his three disciples; Peter, James, and John up to a mountain.
Jesus is transfigured, he is revealed to his disciples in His glory. Remember Jesus is still divine, he never can separate from that, but rather he set aside his glory for a time. Then Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus. Peter offers to set up shelter for the three of them, but this is because they were terrified and Peter did not know what else to say.
If that weren’t enough...

7 A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him!”

Jesus tells them as they descend that they must remain quiet about what they saw until the Son of Man rises from the dead. They obey Jesus, but did not quite understand rising from the dead.

A Spiritual Struggle

As they return to the rest of the disciples they come to an argument between the disciples and the pharisees. There is a young boy who had a demon and they could not drive out the demon, and as the father is explaining to Jesus the situation, he asks that if Jesus had the ability (in the greek here describes a sufficiency and power dynee).

Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes.”

“I do believe; help my unbelief!”

Jesus calls the unclean spirit out of the boy.
The disciples later ask Jesus why they could not succeed driving the demon out...

And he told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer.”

Our spiritual struggle is often in faith and prayer. Our response must be like that of the father in verse 29, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”. Then we must not neglect the power and importance of prayer in our lives.

Discipleship continues

They then continued their travel. Now for a second time Jesus tells the disciples that will be betrayed and killed.

But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask him

(think back to the lesson of the blind man who saw partially at first and then fully later)
When they arrived at their destination, Jesus asked them to explain what they were arguing about on the way. (crickets, because the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest)

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and servant of all.”

(A call to the main theme of Mark)
John then tells Jesus that people were driving out demons in Jesus name and were stopped because they were not following Jesus. Jesus tells them to not stop such people. Jesus then continues to warn them to not cause people to fall away and to cut off that which causes us to sin.
We need with revelation of Jesus in his glory in faith and with prayer, and not trying on our own power, causing other people to fall away. Rather in faith and full confidence of who Jesus is as the Christ we pray for his help and power to allow us to be concerned for what God would have us concerned with. Our faith is not a mere set of rules of do’s and don’ts but a relationship with our creator because of the sacrifice of the son.
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