After Jesus healed the blind man, for a fleeting moment, the eyes of Peter were opened to “see” just who he was – Mark 8:27-38.
Jesus queried his disciples while he was “on the way” to Jerusalem: Who do men say that I am? At least nine times Mark declares that Jesus is “on the way.” His march to Jerusalem and his inevitable death was in fulfillment of Joh’s proclamation from the words of Isaiah: “I send my messenger before your face who shall prepare your way.”
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SYNOPSIS – After Jesus healed a blind man, for a fleeting moment the eyes of Peter were opened to “see” just who he was – Mark 8:27-38.
The next event on the “way to Jerusalem” occurred in Caesarea Philippi, a Hellenistic city built by Herod Philip in honor of Augustus Caesar. Its population was predominately Gentile. In earlier times, it had been called Paneas in honor of the god, Pan. Paradoxically, Jesus was identified as the “Messiah” in a city that was dedicated to false gods and the veneration of the very emperor who claimed to be “Lord” of the world.
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The first vision presents the image of one “like the Son of Man” who was walking among the seven churches of Asia – Revelation 1:9-20.
The opening vision centers on Jesus and his care for the “churches of Asia.” At least one congregation faced imminent persecution. John did not begin his record by holding up his apostolic credentials; instead, he identified himself with the plight of the seven churches: He was a “fellow-participant” with them in the “tribulation and the kingdom and the endurance.”
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Phrases from Daniel’s vision of four “beasts ascending from the sea” are applied to Jesus and his saints in the New Testament.
Phrases and imagery from Daniel’s vision of “four beasts rising” from the chaotic sea occur in key passages in the New Testament, often in contexts concerning the future return of Jesus at the end of the age, the kingdom of God, and the royal authority he received from his Father. For example, Jesus foretold how “all the tribes of the earth” will see the “Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven.”
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Jesus explained that he was “on the way” to Jerusalem where he would be arrested, tried, and executed per the plan of God – Mark 10:32-34.
Once again, Mark stresses that Jesus is “on the way” as he continues his journey to Jerusalem and his inevitable death. This same theme occurs several times in Mark, beginning with John the Baptist who “prepared the way before the Lord.” Jesus was the suffering servant of Yahweh who was on the road from the wilderness to Golgotha.
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The Transfiguration was the confirmation of his status as the Messiah, and of the necessity for Jesus to suffer before receiving glory – Mark 9:2-13.
In Mark, the event known as the “Transfiguration” begins with the clause, “after six days.” This is not just a temporal reference, but also a link to the preceding story in which Peter acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah. In response, he explained the true meaning of discipleship. To follow him, a man must “deny himself and take up his cross” just as the “Son of Man” did.
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