Join us at our Christianity course, ONE.LIFE. as we explore who Jesus is, why he came, and what it means to follow him. The course includes good food, coffee a short talk and discussion. Find out the dates for the next ONE.LIFE. course here. Contact the St Faith’s Church office to RSVP or for more info.
Can’t wait for the next course to begin? Read below or watch the short videos to answer the following questions about Jesus. Who is Jesus? (THE MAN). Why did Jesus come? (THE MISSION). What does it mean to follow Jesus? (THE MOVEMENT). Contact us with any questions about Jesus.
|Chapter 8 is the turning point of Mark’s biography. In the midst of lots of people trying to work out his identity, Jesus asks his followers what conclusions people have come up with.
John the Baptist, Elijah and one of the Prophets are important answers because each of these people are significant religious figures in the Bible.At least by this point in the story people are concluding that Jesus is significant.
|Jesus then pushes the question further by redirecting it to his close friends.
Jesus’ warning to his followers to keep his identity to themselves would suggest that Peter was right: Jesus is the Messiah. This is the most significant claim that Jesus can make. ‘Messiah’ is a strange word that we don’t use in common 21st Century conversations! Who is this ‘Messiah’? In the Old Testament, the first half of the Bible, ‘Messiah’ was a title given to the King anointed by God. The Jewish expectation was
|that God would one day send THE Messiah, who would be the King of Kings and rule the world in a unique way. Jesus is claiming to be that King. This claim is not only significant for God’s people in the 1st Century, but for all people in all times and places! If we were to conduct a survey today asking people who they think Jesus is, there would be many and various responses. Ultimately what matters is that we recognise Jesus to be who he claims to be. Who is this man? He is the King. If that’s the case, it’s worth giving your attention to him.|
|In Mark’s biographical account of the life of Jesus, we see that after Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus then gets straight to the heart of his mission.
‘Son of Man’ is Jesus’ way of referring to himself. Why did he come? To suffer, be killed and then rise again! Have a look at how Peter responds:
|Peter is shocked! Jesus wasn’t playing the role of Messiah like he was expecting. Jesus quickly puts him back in his place. Suffering, death and resurrection; that’s why Jesus came. Jesus repeats this intention again in chapter 9 and chapter 10.It is no accident that Jesus suffered in the way that he did.Why was this necessary? Why did Jesus make death his mission in life?Sin. Sin is a politically incorrect term. We’d rather speak about mistakes rather than sin. Yet, if you were to be honest, you’d know that there are many ways that you fail to live up to your own standards let alone God’s! Each of us have failed to love God wholeheartedly and care for our neighbour sufficiently.
Jesus’ assessment is that we all have a heart problem because each of us are made unclean by the things that come out of our hearts.
|The bad news is that the Bible says that all people deserve to be judged by God for their sin. The good news? Jesus’ mission was to deal with sin on our behalf.Unlike us, Jesus always lived a life without sin. So when he suffered and died on the cross, he suffered and died in our place. Jesus lived the life we failed to live. Jesus died the death that we deserved for our sin. He took upon himself our sin, shame, guilt and judgment. More than that, he rose again 3 days later. This means his death really did work and he guarantees eternal life to all those who trust in him. This is great news!How should we respond? Firstly, like a swimmer drowning at the beach, we need to recognise that we are in trouble and need to be rescued. Secondly?|
|Part 1 asked the question, “Who is this man?” The answer? The King that God promised – Messiah. Part 2 asked the question, “What was his mission?” The answer? Jesus is the Messiah who came to suffer & die on the cross, in our place, to deal with our sin. Messiah then rises again. So what does it mean to be part of this Messiah’s MOVEMENT?Jesus says members of his movement (Christians) need to make 3 massive commitments.
First, Jesus says that disciples need to “DENY THEMSELVES”.
This attitude needs to be adopted to all areas of life. Including: sexual ethics; money; time; family; work and recreation.
|Second, Jesus says that his disciples need to “TAKE UP THEIR CROSS”.
Crucifixion isn’t part of our modern world. The cross is more or less a religious symbol on church buildings, church logos, jewellery and tattoos. In Jesus’ world everyone knew the implications of taking up your cross. The person who carried a cross was someone under the sentence of death and on their way to the place of execution. They no longer had a life to call their own.To be part of Jesus’ movement will be noticeable, inconvenient, costly and painful.
Third, Jesus says that his disciples need to “FOLLOW JESUS”.
Being part of Jesus’ movement will cost you everything… but it’s worth it! Jesus and the life he offers is of infinitely greater value than anything the world has to offer.
|Deny yourself. Take up your cross. Follow Jesus.Doing these things doesn’t make you acceptable to God. It’s only by trusting in Jesus’ death and resurrection that we can be acceptable before God. But as those who trust in Jesus this is how to now live.
What’s a Christian? It’s much more than ticking a box on the census! Ultimately it is someone who trusts in Jesus and then seeks to live with Jesus as number 1. Is Jesus number 1 for you? If you’re already a Christian continue to centre your life on JESUS.
Not yet a Christian? Why not, from today stop living for yourself and this world put your trust in the King who died for you and was raised again. START living with Jesus as number 1. Join the movement, become a Christian!!
A first step in becoming a Christian is to pray this simple prayer of faith:
Dear God, SORRY for my sin, and seeking to live with myself at centre. THANKS for sending Jesus the Perfect MAN. THANKS that his MISSION was to die on the cross to deal with my sin. THANKS that he rose again and offers new life. PLEASE forgive me & help me to trust in Jesus. PLEASE help me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him.
In Jesus’s Name, AMEN.
Contact us if you prayed this prayer, have questions, or want to find a church.