Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 4 Study # 3
October 25, 2009
20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
1901 ASV Translation:
20 And he said unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
21 But he charged them, and commanded them to tell this to no man;
22 saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
23 And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25 For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?
26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in his own glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you of a truth, There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
- I. Jesus' Crucial Question.
- A. Luke sets this record in the midst of Jesus "praying".
- B. Jesus asked a "preliminary" question.
- C. Jesus' "primary" question.
- 1. What "others" are saying is ultimately unimportant.
- a. What "others" say does not establish anything as true, especially "crowds of others".
- b. What "others" say does nothing for an individual in the Day of Judgment.
- c. What "others" say may be extremely dangerous because of their influence in one's own thinking (especially if a and b above are misunderstood).
- d. What "others" say has roots which cannot be identified with accuracy so that there can be no valid "trust" (it is illegitimate to "trust" where the origins of the claims cannot be identified/verified).
- 2. What you say is ultimately the only issue of concern.
- a. When Jesus turned His question to "the disciples", He emphasized the "you" (Literally He said, "But YOU, whom do you say -- [ legete : as doctrinal truth] -- that I am?").
- b. At this point in Jesus' "discipleship training", He was laying the ultimate foundation for all of the future to come.
- 1) Everyone exists with a plethora of concepts floating around in their "data centers".
- 2) This plethora of concepts is both complex and confused.
- a) The complexity exists because of the amount of "data entry" that occurs. The brain receives data from multiple sources 24/7 and does not process most of it. The "data center" looks most like a closet that has been hastily crammed with all of the clutter that had accumulated in the room so that the room may appear to be "organized" and "acceptable" to the neatnicks among us.
- b) The confusion exists because of the slowness of the application of any kind of legitimate rational process to the mass of information.
- 3) This explains why "salvation" is by "grace": any other method would simply perish under the load of unprocessed data.
- 4) This also, however, explains just what the "organizing principle" must be for any kind of growth into order out of the chaos.
- a) The "assumptions" are several...
- i. That "logic" is actually operative in the mind of the one making the decision.
- ii. That "unity" in the "data center" is important to the one faced with the facts.
- iii. That some kind of "touchstone" will become the overseer of all efforts to make progress in the pursuit of the unity. 1 John 2:16 warns us that the "world" has put forward three possible "touchstones" by which all who are in the world "organize" their "data": hedonism ("the lust of the flesh"); materialism ("the lust of the eyes"); and humanism ("the pride of life").
- b) What one says about "Jesus" can either be that "touchstone" or simply more of the confused data stream.
- c) "Faith" in Jesus is precisely this decision to make Him that "touchstone". Any thing "less" is not "faith", and there is nothing "more". He is either the sum total of all (the Creator), or He is just some of the flotsam and jetsam of the data stream.
- i. There is this, however, that must be recognized and understood: making Jesus the touchstone means very little in terms of the immediate results in either thought or action. How the "clutter" is addressed is entirely up to the grace of God. He alone can begin, and proceed, to "connect the dots" so that the bits and pieces of the data can move toward harmony.
- ii. None of the original disciples of Jesus became His primary "writing apostle". Saul of Tarsus, prepared from his mother's womb, became the primary author of the New Testament. In some way, his data stream and his commitment to the faithful development of the harmony of it were developed so that he could be the Spirit's "writing instrument" for the communication of the doctrines of the faith. It was his claim that he was this "apostle" because the Lord had counted him "faithful" (1 Timothy 1:12). This was not a vacuous "boast"; it was a claim that the grace of God had done something in him that superceded what was accomplished in the lives of the other apostles. For Paul, Jesus was the touchstone and he was relentless in the application of Him to his thoughts and actions (Colossians 1:18 and 2:19) and he insisted that all believers follow him in this (1 Corinthians 10:31).