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Mark 8:27-38 - Sunday Scripture Reflection

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

On this Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost we will be reading from the Gospel according to Mark. In this week's lesson, we hear Jesus ask his followers a life-changing question - "Who do you say that I am?" (verse 29). We will discuss a favorite topic of our ongoing Scripture Reflection series - "What is your understanding of the term 'Messiah' and how does your definition impact your life as a follower of Jesus, the Messiah?" We will set this discussion in the context of our life in the US, which continues to change away from the dominant Christian society it once was...and this reality helps us to clarify our Christian beliefs and helps us to not take our faith and Christian life for granted.

Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to Mark. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Mark 8:27-38).

For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • After reading the Scripture lesson for the week, reflect on the questions Jesus asks his disciples: "Who do people say that I am," and "Who do you say that I am?" What answers do the disciples give in the Scripture lesson, and what do these answers imply about who people believe Jesus to be?

  • Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the study guide below, and reflect on Peter's answer (that Jesus is the Messiah) and how is that different that what the people had been saying about Jesus? Understanding that 1st century understandings of what "Messiah" really meant differed greatly: reflect on Peter's reaction to Jesus' statement detailing his coming suffering, death, and resurrection. What do you imagine Peter had in mind for the "Messiah?"

  • Read the "WHERE..." paragraph below and reflect on how Jesus had a different meaning to the role and mission of the "Messiah." Why was this new understanding so challenging for his disciples...and us?

  • Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below and answer the following questions: what does it mean today for people to call Jesus the Messiah and follow him? What examples of following Jesus have you witnessed?

  • Read the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below and give reflection and your response to the final sentence in the paragraph: "Discipleship, therefore, is the necessary outcome of confessing this Jesus to be the Messiah." (with emphasis on this Jesus, to indicate the "Jesus" who is described as the one who shall be rejected, suffer, killed, and be resurrected).

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