Date: September 16, 2018
Jesus and his disciples are ‘on the way’ in an area that they would have regarded as sacred because of its proximity to the source of the River Jordan and also Mount Harmon. In this episode they are in the district around Caesarea Philippi, where Herod the Great had built a temple and renamed the town after the emperor. There the Greeks had worshipped the god Pan, a god of nature.
In our reading this week Jesus’ questions directly the disciples. First, “who do people say that I am?” And then, “who do you say that I am?” (v.27), a question that Mark is addressing to the reader of his Gospel. The disciples reply that they associate Jesus with previous prophets. Jesus reiterates that a prophetic ministry, speaking truth to power, carries with it the perils of suffering and death.