Mark 8

Jesus had compassion for a hungry crowd of four thousand people; therefore, he satisfactorily feed them, from seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. When Jesus arrived at another village, the Pharisees came out to argue with him, demanding a sign from heaven, so he departed from them. Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the corruption of the Pharisees and Herod. Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida and command that he go home and not the village. Jesus questioned the disciples, who the people say that he is and who do they say that he is; the people believed that he is a prophet but Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” Jesus began to tell the disciples about his coming death, burial and resurrection, of which Peter rebuked him, but Jesus told him that he is seeking his own interest and not God’s. Jesus then told the crowd, with the disciples, to deny self and follow him. 

The promise of God is to provide for the needs of those who deny self and follow Jesus. There are many things that people say about Jesus. Some believe that he was a prophet; a newer prophet like John the Baptist or an older prophet like Elijah. People today will except him as a good and charismatic teacher. However, Jesus is better than these. Jesus is a prophet, but unlike any prophet before him. Jesus is a teacher, but unlike any teacher before or since. Jesus is the living God, the creator of the universe and all that it contains in human flesh. Jesus is the wisdom of God embodied in a man. Are we to be ashamed of him and his words? Jesus has promised eternal life to all who deny self and follow him. Being ashamed to tell others that you are a follower of Christ or being ashamed of some of the things that he said is not denying self. Jesus is more than a prophet or teacher, he is Lord of heaven and earth. Jesus began his earthly ministry, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” What is repentance? Is it not the denial of oneself? Repent and follow Jesus Christ because he is Lord and has promised salvation from sin and death.