<i>The Messiah's Journey to Jerusalem</i> - Mark 8:31-10:52

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 8:31-10:52

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The Messiah's Journey to Jerusalem - Mark 8:31-10:52

On his way to Jerusalem Jesus predicted his death three times. These three predictions create a somber atmosphere for the entire journey. Each prediction is followed by evidence that the disciples had not yet fully understood Jesus' message. There is also an attempt by Jesus to make it clear that following a suffering messiah will bring serious demands upon the disciples' lives.

Suffering Messiah - Mark 8:31-9:29

The Lesson of the Suffering Messiah.

Son of Man - Mark 8:31

Mark reported that Jesus began this new emphasis in his teaching at this time. Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man. This was Jesus favorite way to refer to himself. See the article on the Titles of Christ. Jesus said that he must suffer. The necessity was not because Jesus was compelled by powers stronger than himself. He was compelled by the divine plan to save his people. The suffering of the Messiah had been prophesied in Isa. 52–53. The elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes were all aligned against Jesus. This was a broad coalition of all the members of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of Judaism. The elders were respected lay leaders. The reigning high priest led the Sanhedrin. The plural description chief priests included the reigning high priest and any former high priests who still exerted considerable influence.

Jesus explained clearly. - Mark 8:32

Jesus explained this clearly to his disciples in contrast to his teaching in parables. The Greek word that is translated clearly can also be translated boldly. Peter understood Jesus and tried to talk him out of a plan that involved his death.

Get behind me Satan - Mark 8:33

In the clause, Get behind me Satan, the Greek verb that is translated get is the same word that is used in Matt.4:10 ("Satan, go"). Peter had not yet fully understood what kind of a Messiah Jesus really was. Just like Satan, Peter tempted Jesus to be a Messiah without suffering.

Demands of Discipleship - Mark 8:34-9:1

The follower of the suffering Son of Man will also suffer.

Must deny himself - Mark 8:34

Jesus called the crowd together with his disciples because his words applied to all Christ followers, not just to their leaders. Jesus was the ultimate denier of self-interest. (Note Phil 2:6-8.) The follower of Jesus must also deny himself. Jesus' followers must follow him in seeking the will of God instead of pursuing their own selfish desires. The Romans often forced convicted criminals to carry the cross beam to the site of their execution. These words must have had great significance to the original readers of this gospel in Rome.

Win greater blessings - Mark 8:35-37

Human beings can be assured of experiencing the fullness of the potential of human life only if they first are willing to give up all the life which this world offers. In these ironic words Jesus summed up the need to surrender the pursuit of the values of this world in order to win far greater blessings.

Denial of Christ - Mark 8:38

Shortsighted denial of Christ has ultimate consequences. Avoiding the shaming stares of the adulterous and sinful in this life will bring with it the damning gaze of the glorified Jesus. See WLC 19, 113.

An approaching display of God's glory - Mark 9:1

The reference to the glory of the Father in verse 38 led Jesus to speak of an approaching display of God's glory. The word Some probably refers to the disciples who would see that glory in both the resurrection of Christ and in his transfiguration that is described in the following verses. This verse is Jesus' promise to those who faithfully follow him in spite of the looming threats of death that they will share in that eternal glory.

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