Mark 8:26-30

Mark 8:26 (KJB)
And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

This man was probably not a citizen of Bethsaida and Jesus asks him not to go into the town. He did not want the man to start publicizing what happened to him because that would once again bring the large crowds and then the representatives of the Pharisees and Sadducees would come. Jesus wanted continued anonymity until the appointed time He would make Himself public to the religious leaders. He did not want this man to go into any town but wanted him to go straight to his home. Like the man of Gadara who was healed of all the indwelling devils, this man was to be a testimony to his friends and family where he lived. Jesus did not want the people to think that the primary reason for His ministry was miracles because it was not, it was for the purpose of paying for the sins of the Elect of God to secure them salvation and eternal life, which was a far greater ministry than just miracles.

Mark 8:27 (KJB)
And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

The region of Caesarea Philippi was formerly called Paneas and was located on the northernmost part of Jewish territory on the lower slopes of Mount Hermon. Philip the tetrarch rebuilt the town and renamed it. Caesarea means “Caesar’s town.” Jesus then asks them a very serious question about who people say that He is. He was not concerned about what the Pharisees and Sadducees thought because He knew what they thought, but He wanted to know who the common people thought He was.

Mark 8:28 (KJB)
And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.

After the people had witnessed the miracles of Jesus and many were recipients of those miracles, they had attached some important names to who Jesus was. The first was John the Baptist because even Herod thought that Jesus was John resurrected and probably that belief spread since he was the king in that area. Then some said Elijah because in Malachi 4:5 many thought that Elijah the Prophet would come back to Israel to usher in some type of Judgment. (Mal 4:5 KJV) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: Then some thought that He was Jeremiah the Prophet. The ministry of Jesus and Jeremiah were similar because both spoke with the authority of God and both had suffered. (Mat 16:14 KJV) And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. If you notice, those people who believed these had gone into the past and not one looked to the future or even thought that Jesus was the Messiah. It is a shame when the glory of a nation or a church is its past.

Mark 8:29 (KJB)
And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

Jesus now turns to His disciples and wants to know who they think He is. He is not so much concerned about the crowds but He wants to see what His close followers think of Him. This is probably the most important question in the Bible. The answer to this question manifests what is in your heart. If you see Jesus as a prophet, political activist, great teacher, etc., then you have missed the boat of salvation because unless you can state emphatically that Jesus was God in the flesh, you are in a lost state and are in danger of going to Hell. Only the true Christian can claim that Jesus is the Son of God. Ask yourself today who Jesus is? It is a matter of eternal salvation.

Peter then answers quickly, as always, that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah and the Christ. Peter rightly spake when he did not equate Jesus with some prophet or that He was the forerunner to the Messiah, He was the Messiah. They had seen that Jesus had the attributes of Deity because no one could raise the dead or even have authority over the devil unless they were definitely of God. (Mat 9:33 KJV) And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. No prophet of old ever cast a devil out of a person. Jesus was the fulfillment of all the prophecies in Scripture concerning the coming Messiah. The word “art” is in the present tense meaning that Jesus being the Christ will never change. He is as much the Son of God today as He was back when He walked the dusty roads of Palestine.

Mark 8:30 (KJB)
And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

Before the disciples were able to get out and preach that Jesus was the Messiah, He had told them not to because He had a certain time table to which He had to adhere and did not want any problems before that time. After the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost, then the disciples would be free to preach the whole counsel of God without restriction. They still had much learning to do at this point but the Holy Spirit would bring it all back to them when the time was right. Jesus also wanted to prevent the idea that he was the Messiah in the political realm and that He was going to free Israel from Rome. If that type of teaching got out, then Rome would seek to put Him to death for insurrection.