Tag Archives: Mark 8.29

Gospel Reflection for September 16, 2018, 24th Sunday Ordinary Time

13 Sep

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 50.5-9; James 2.14-18; Mark 8.27-35

Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.”  – Mark 8.29

Jesus finally calls the question in chapter 8, the midpoint of Mark’s gospel. In a miracle just before Jesus asks this question, he has to try twice to open the eyes of a blind man. At first the man can see only blurry shapes that look like trees. This two-stage miracle anticipates the disciples response when he asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answers forthrightly, “You are the Messiah.”

Back to back with Peter’s declaration of faith in Jesus, Jesus teaches for the first time that the Son of Man will suffer, be put to death, and rise after three days. To this, Peter objects and takes Jesus aside to rebuke him. Instead Jesus rebukes Peter for setting his mind on human things. Peter’s vision is blurry at this point. Only Jesus’ death destroys Peter’s received ideas of a warrior messiah. Only Jesus’ resurrection transforms his disciples’ understanding. Mark’s gospel explores how faith in Jesus develops in his disciples and calls us to the same threshold of faith at the empty tomb.

What popular ideas of Jesus have you outgrown?


If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection, please visit the Sunday By Sunday page to order a subscription or request a free sample. Start a small bible study. Be a leader.

Gospel Reflection for September 13, 2015, 24th Sunday Ordinary Time

9 Sep
Photo via Flickr user *Nom *Malc

Photo via Flickr user *Nom & Malc

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 50.5-9; James 2.14-18; Mark 8.27-35

“Who do you say that I am?”

(Mark 8.29)

Mark’s gospel explores how the faith of Jesus’ disciples matures.  For all of us faith develops across the life cycle.  As children, our brains limit our understanding.  As adolescents, we share the faith  of our families, neighbors, and the church in which we grow up.  As adults, some of us never examine the faith we receive.

Peter professes Jesus is the Messiah in answer to the question, “Who do you say that I am?”  But when Jesus predicts his suffering and death, Peter objects and clings to his received idea that the Messiah will be a great warrior who restores Israel as a nation.  Only Jesus’ death destroys Peter’s idea.  His resurrection radically transforms his disciples’ understanding.

Ultimately faith transforms us into the one we follow.  For Mark, faith is a transforming lifelong practice, not just an idea.

How do you respond to Jesus’ question?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
please visit the Sunday By Sunday page
to order a subscription or request a free sample.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.

Gospel Reflection for September 16, 2012, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

11 Sep
Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”
Peter answers, “You are the Messiah.”

Mark 8.29


“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asks his disciples in this Sunday’s gospel.  The disciples are the people whom Mark most fully characterizes in his gospel.  They follow Jesus without hesitating when he calls them from their fishing nets, but they experience frequent fear, confusion, astonishment, and incomprehension as they follow him during his ministry.  In these disciples Mark hopes his hearers will see themselves.

How do you respond to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?

If you enjoy this excerpt from Sunday By Sunday,
please visit the Sunday By Sunday page to order a subscription or request a free sample.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.
%d bloggers like this: