Mark 8:29 (AV)
And he saith unto them,
But whom say ye¹ that I am?
And Peter answereth
and saith unto him,
Thou art the Christ.
¹) Plural, so asked to all disciples
And He asked them, But who do you yourselves say that I am? Peter replied to Him, You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). [AMP] And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ." [ESV] And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. [KJV] "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ." [NIV] Then Jesus asked, "Who do you say I am?" Peter replied, "You are the Messiah." [NLT] He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." [NKJV]
Some further information
But who do you say that I am?
After they reported the prevailing erroneous views about Jesus (Mark 8:28), He asked the disciples to give their own evaluation of who He was.
The answer every person gives to this question will determine his or her eternal destiny.
You are the Christ.
Matthew adds “The Son of the living God”
Peter unhesitatingly replied on behalf of the Twelve (cf. Matthew 14:28; 15:15; 17:4; 19:27; 26:33; John 6:68; 13:36), clearly and unequivocally affirming that they believed Jesus to be the Messiah.
14 Testimonies of Sonship:
- God declared Jesus to be “My beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).
- Jesus said, “I am the Son of God” (John 10:36).
- Demons (Matthew 8:29; Luke 4:41);
- Gabriel (Luke 1:32-35);
- Disciples (Matthew 14:33);
- The centurian (Matthew 27:54):
- Peter (Matthew 16:16; John 6:69):
- John the Baptist (John 1:34);
- Martha (John 11:27);
- Mark (Mark 1:1);
- The Eunuch (Acts 8:26-38);
- Nathaniel (John 1:49);
- Paul (Acts 9:20; Galatians 2:20);
- and John (John 20:31)
All called Jesus “The Son of God”.
John called Him “the only begotten Son” and “the Son of the Father” (John 1:18, 3:16-18; 1 John 4:9; 2 John 3).
Satan, Pharisees, and others also understood Him to claim sonship
(Matthew 4:3-6, 27:40-43, John 19:7).
▪︎ “The Son of God” is used 49 times;
▪︎ “only begotten Son” 5 times;
▪︎ “My Son” 10 times;
▪︎ “the Son” 34 times;
▪︎ and “His Son” 24 times
The word ‘Christ’ means the same as the Hebrew ‘Messiah’, namely ‘Anointed One’ and refers to Jesus’ divine calling and task (see Psalm 2:2, cf. eg John 7:41f.).
With the designation ‘Son of God’ (absent in a number of manuscripts) Mark refers to the exclusive relationship of Jesus with God the Father (see Mark 1:11; Psalm 2:7,12)
‘Christ’ translated to English means ‘anointed’,
‘Christ’ comes from the Greek word Χριστός (Christos) which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered “Messiah”.
The word occurs 569 in the Bible, and is the official title of our Lord.
It denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ (Acts 17:3, 18:5; Matthew 22:42) the Anointed One.
He is thus spoken of by Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1) and by Daniel (Daniel 9:24–26) who styles him “Messiah the Prince.”
The Messiah is the same person as
▪︎ “the seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15)
▪︎ “the seed of Abraham” (Genesis 22:18)
▪︎ the “Prophet like unto Moses” (Deuteronomy 18:15)
▪︎ “the priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalms 110:4)
▪︎ “the rod out of the stem of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1,10)
▪︎ the “Immanuel,” the virgin’s son (Isaiah 7:14)
▪︎ “the branch of Yahweh (Isaiah 4:2)
▪︎ and “the messenger of the covenant” (Malachi 3:1)
This is he “of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.”
The Old Testament Scripture is full of prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men.
This name denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and accredited as the Savior of men (Hebrews 5:4; Isaiah 11:2–4, 49:6; John 5:37; Acts 2:22)
To believe that “Jesus is the Christ” is to believe that He is the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Savior sent of God, that He was, in a word, what He claimed to be.
This is to believe the gospel, by the faith of which alone men can be brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 John 5:1)
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After hearing the people’s opinion about Him (Mark 8:28), Jesus wanted to know how the disciples themselves felt about Him. (Hence the “but” at the beginning of the sentence).
He asked them very directly. It is not without reason that the ‘you’ (humeis) comes first in the Greek text; that gives it all the emphasis.
The answer to that question came from Peter’s mouth.
He thereby served as spokesman for all the disciples, as we will often encounter in this gospel (see Mark 9:5; 10:28; 11:21; 14:29).
By answering, “You are the Christ,” Peter stated plainly that Jesus and the other disciples believed him to be greater than all the prophets.
Where the people rejected Him (see Mark 8:28), they fully recognized in Him.
He is indeed the Christ in Person (cf. further Mark 9:41, 12:35, 13:21, 14:61, 15:32).
With this confession, Peter confirmed the testimony of John the Baptist, who already pointed out Jesus as the one anointed with the Spirit of God (see John 1:29ff.).
By the way, it is good to remember that Peter’s answer returns as a question by the high priest (Mark 14:61). Shortly thereafter, Peter would deny his Lord three times in the courtyard (Mark 14:66-72).
Peter’s confession was an introduction to Jesus’ teaching about His suffering
Now let us reflect on this
Who is Jesus? Many answers have been given to this question over the centuries. Those who listen today will hear a wide variety of answers. Many people form their own image of Jesus, one that fits us best.
In Jesus’ day the question is also current; in fact, Jesus Himself raises this issue. And the answers?
It goes back to impressive people from the past.
What matters is the answer we ourselves give on this question.
Peter speaks, and says firmly, You are the Christ. Short as it may be, that answer is everything.
How do we answer?
You are my Everything?
These are not words that you could repeat from others.
These are words which have to come from your own heart.
That is confessing.
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