Who is Jesus? Many people over the past 2000 years have expressed their opinion on this. Some see him as simply a man who attracted a following, others see him as a holy man who God used. And, some see him as the Christ, the Son of God. In this chapter, Mark records people holding to the first two of these. And in the eighth chapter, he documents the third opinion.
Is He Just a Man?
Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3 NIV)
The people who were the most familiar with Jesus, those that he had grown up with, saw Jesus as no more than the village carpenter. The expression “familiarity breeds contempt” clearly applies in this situation. But it was not just those from his hometown who saw him merely as a man. The religious leaders of Jesus day apparently did as well. As do large numbers of people even today.
Or a Prophet?
Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
Others said, “He is Elijah.”
And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.” (Mark 6:14b-15 NIV)
There were others who saw Jesus as John the Baptist come back from the dead, Elijah, or a prophet from the line of Old Testament prophets. They saw in Jesus something more than an ordinary man, a man used by God. But they were unable to make the leap to accepting him as the Messiah. And many today likewise see in Jesus something special, and honor or celebrate him. But they fail to recognize who he really is and his claim on their lives.
Or Is He the Messiah?
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” (Mark 8:29 NIV)
And, finally, there are those who see him for who he is, their Messiah. Blessed are those who recognize him as Christ, and respond to his invitation to enter into a relationship with him. So, who is Jesus to you?