Class Notes: 1/15/2014

Mark 8:21-Mark 8:32; The disciples recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but the overwhelming rejection of Him results in the implementation of Plan B


In our study of Mark last time we stopped in Mark 8:21; where we see that the disciples had a hard time understanding the spiritual things Jesus was trying to teach them.

Mark 8:21; So He asks them "Do you still not get it?" and of course they didn't. Net note 25 Their problem was that their rate of forgetting doctrine exceeded the rate that they were learning because they were spiritually hard of hearing.

They may have learned some of these things but they have forgotten them, or they may not have learned them in the first place and, of course, you can't remember what you didn't learn. This explains why Jesus did so much repeating.

Mark 8:22; When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida Julias on the northeastern shore of the Lake they brought a blind man to Jesus and asked Him to touch him.

He does the same thing in this case that he did for the deaf man in Decapolois but this time he heals him in two stages. He first heals his sight and then he heals the neural pathways that correlate sight to objects.

These two miracles use physical perceptive inability to represent spiritual perceptive inability and demonstrate the fact that Jesus will heal both for those who express positive volition to Him.

They also teach that a true understanding of Jesus comes through a personal relationship with Him without regard to the opinions of the crowd.

Mark 8:23-24; The touch of saliva and Jesus' hands conveyed His intentions and stimulated the blind man's faith. At first the healing was only partial, men in a blur looked like trees walking around.

Jesus' question, Do you see anything? indicated that this was intentional it was not a weakness in the man's faith. This is the only recorded instance of a partial rather than complete instantaneous healing.

This was a perfect follow-up to His rebuke of His disciples regarding their interpretation of "yeast". The man was no longer totally blind, but his sight was still impaired just like the disciples' spiritual perception was impaired.

Mark 8:25; Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes again and his sight was fully restored and he could see clearly.

This represents the final outcome that Jesus' disciples could expect regardless of the difficulties they are having with the process of developing doctrinal capacity for spiritual faith perception.

Mark 8:26; Jesus again tries to avoid having another crowd gather and apparently the man who was healed did not live in the village so he did not need to go there.

Mark 8:27; Caesarea Philippi was about the only town under Philip the tetrarch's rule. It was located at the source of the Jordan River on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon.

Philip called it Caesarea after Caesar and Philippi after himself to distinguish it from Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast so Caesarea of Philip is the name of the town. While there Jesus asks His disciples, "who do people say that I am?"

This is a question of identification. He has identified for them that the doctrine of the Pharisees and Herod is leaven or evil. Now He asks, who do people say I am?

Mark 8:28; Their answer is that the people think Jesus is one of the prophets who had come back from the dead. Net note 39 All three responses were wrong, indicating that Jesus' identity and mission were still unknown to the general population.

Mark 8:29; "He continued and asked them personally "who do you say that I am?" It is easy to say what other people are saying but the real issue is what do you say. He made it personal. All doctrine is personal. It's not what others say or do that matters it is what you say or do that matters.

"Peter answered," You are the Christ." Net note 41 The Pharisees have rejected Jesus claim as being Messiah but Peter comes along and says: "You are Messiah" Peter had the right answer.

Their open confession of Him at this point was necessary because the general population was failing to discern His true identity, the religious leaders were strongly opposed to Him and rejected His claim as Messiah, and He was about to give the disciples additional revelation about Himself that would have serious implications.

It was essential that the question of His identity be firmly established in their minds. This affirmation of their personal faith in Jesus was the anchor of their discipleship in spite their failures in spiritual faith perception.

Jesus knew He was God's Anointed so He accepted Peter's declaration as correct. However, because of the disciple's misunderstandings so He commanded silence until He could explain that as Messiah it was necessary for Him to suffer and die in obedience to God's will.

Mark 8:30; And Jesus warned them to tell no one about Him. The Lord uses very direct language here. In fact, He is severe. The Greek word translated "warned" is the aorist active indicative of the verb "epitimao" that means "to warn in order to prevent an action; to rebuke; to charge; to exhort"

Why does the Lord use severe language to command His disciples to keep His Messiahship a secret? The disciples had been preaching the imminent establishment of a global kingdom with Jesus as its King. This is what they had done on their missions to the Jews.

But now due to the Jews wide rejection of Jesus as Messiah God's Plan A for the kingdom to be established immediately has been postponed. God's Plan B with the kingdom being put on hold for the Church Age is about to be introduced.

The message of an earthly kingdom will be put on hold and in its place Jesus turns His attention to His crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension.

His Messiahship will no longer be authenticated by His performance of works and miracles that have been prophesied but instead by His resurrection from the dead and Jesus for the first time openly speaks to His disciples about His death.

Jesus has verified that His disciples understand He is Messiah. However, because the Jews have rejected Him they have also rejected the earthly kingdom and Plan A. He makes the executive decision to conceal this information from the public for the time being.

The Jews have interpreted Messiahship to mean that the Millennial kingdom will be set up at the First Advent but the divine decrees, the Old Testament prophecies, and the plan of salvation dictate that the message of the cross take priority over the message of the kingdom. Thus, the gag order.

Mark 8:31; The Greek word translated word "must" is the impersonal verb "dei" that in context refers to the things that must occur by the decree of God.

He is stating a fact that it is in the decreed will of God that the Old Testament prophets have communicated it even though the Jews and His disciples did not understand it.

The passage with the largest collection of precise Messianic prophecies is Isa 52:13- Isa 53:12; where Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah is so clearly identified that it is the only passage in the Tnach that is never read in Jewish synagogues.

One of the reasons the Jews rejected Him as Messiah is because they did not properly interpret scripture and because of this He did not meet their false expectations. Their false interpretation that disregarded the cross caused them to commit verbacide on the word Messiah.

In order to fulfill the salvation plan of God, Jesus must go to the cross. It is decreed, it is prophesied, and it is therefore a certainty.

Every time a portion of God's plan is fulfilled in time God is glorified. When God decrees certain events in eternity past they must be fulfilled in time.

If this were not so then God would not be faithful and His integrity would be made suspect. Therefore, the fulfillment of any given decree not only glorifies God but also confirms His divine integrity by demonstrating His faithfulness and veracity.

Peter will challenge this principle and the other eleven disciples consider it. The disciples are told of the events that are about to transpire but are ordered not to mention that He is Messiah.

His disciples do not fully comprehend what is going on so if they teach the gospel as they understand it they will either misstate the issue or confuse the listeners or both.

Their view at the moment is that Jesus is Messiah Who has come to establish His earthly kingdom immediately. The Lord's severe demand for their silence is designed to protect the message of Plan B where following His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, He will return at a future time to set up His earthly kingdom.

To preach that He will set up the kingdom in the near future is no longer true and must not be taught so He imposes a temporary gag order on that message. The details revealed in verse 31 were thoroughly elaborated on by our Lord.

He focused on His mission and used the designation "Son of Man." to describe Himself. This title suited Jesus' total mission well because it was free of political connotations, thereby minimizing false expectations.

It was also sufficiently ambiguous so it preserved the balance between concealment and disclosure in Jesus' life and mission. It combined the elements of suffering and glory in a way no other designation could. It served to accurately define His unique role as Messiah while simultaneously minimizing unrealistic expectations arising from the Jews' verbacide.

Mark 8:32;a And Jesus was stating the matter plainly. The Greek verb translated "was stating" is the imperfect active indicative of "laleo " that means "to assert or proclaim something through speech"

The imperfect tense is a progressive imperfect that shows continuous action in past time. The Lord repeatedly communicated in detail the things He wanted them to know. It was not a quick, short statement.

The active voice states that the Lord repeatedly taught them over and over again the details about His immediate destiny and the indicative mood is a statement of future historical fact that was in agreement with the prophecies and therefore irrefutable.


The Greek word translated "plainly" is the adverbial use in the dative case of the Greek noun: "parresia" that means to clearly, plainly and boldly tell it all leaving nothing out in such a way that it is impossible for there to be any misunderstanding.

Peter understood that Jesus was Messiah. But he had a hard time grasping that, as Messiah, Jesus must die for the sins for the world on a cross. Peter is obsessed with setting up the kingdom immediately and he becomes extremely upset at the suggestion that Jesus might be killed before this can be accomplished.

Peter clearly understood Jesus but could not reconcile his corrupted concept of "Messiah" with the suffering and death that Jesus was accurately teaching the real Messiah must endure.

Mark 8:32b; So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke Him. Net note 48 Peter's reaction also reflected the other disciples thinking. It was a satanic attempt to divert Jesus from the Cross. They were all in on it Peter was just the ringleader just like Satan is the ringleader for the angels.

The basis of the rebuke is found in the parallel passage in Matt 16:22; And Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke (epitimao) Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."

Jesus had spoken with severity in issuing His gag order in Mark 8:30:; using the verb "epitimao" "to warn in order to prevent an action; to rebuke; to exhort."

Peter uses the very same verb to contradict the Lord's instructions to him and his fellow disciples. Peter "rebuked Jesus" "to warn in order to prevent an action; to exhort."

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