A New Type of King

Our Sunday message came from Mark’s Gospel Ch. 8 was named ‘A new type of King.’ In vv27-30, we have Peter confessing Jesus as the Christ. Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi, and on the way He asked them “Who do men say that I am? So they answered, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah, and others, one of the prophets”. He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him “You are the Christ.” – Mark 8:27-29

Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1970 rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It is a musical dramatization of the last week of Jesus Christ beginning with His entry into Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion. In one of the songs we have the question “Jesus Christ Superstar, do you think you are what they say you are?” Judas, who betrayed Him, says: “Don’t get me wrong, I just wanted to know.”

Judas wanted to be sure. We must also be sure of this question. The Lord Jesus Christ wants us to be sure. So, He asks His Disciples “Do you know Who I really Am?” The answers that men gave meant they saw Him as no ordinary man. They were saying He was as great as the greatest of the prophets. They were paying Him a great compliment and setting him in a high place. He is no ordinary man, He is a King, and as Pastor Chris preached, “A new type of king.” But the people did not know that. Jesus needed to know if his Disciples knew Who He was.

It is of great interest to see where Jesus chose to ask this question. He had travelled so far north beyond the sea of Galilea towards snow caps of mount Hermon. It was an area of great natural beauty and the headwaters of the Jordan river. The area was scattered with temples of the ancient Syrian Baal worship. There was something more. In Caesarea Philippi, there was a great temple of white marble built by Herod the Great to the godhead of Ceasar.

To quote the Scottish theologian William Barclay from his commentary on Mathew’s gospel: “Here is indeed a dramatic picture. Here a homeless, penniless Galilean carpenter, with twelve very ordinary men gathered around Him. At the moment the orthodox people of His day are actually plotting to destroy Him as a dangerous heretic. He stands in an area littered with the temples of the Syrian gods; in a place where the ancient Greek gods looked down; in a place where the history of Israel crowded in upon the minds of men; where the white marble splendour of the home of Caesar-worship dominated the landscape and compelled the eye. And there of all places this amazing carpenter stands, and asks men who they believe Him to be, and He expects the answer, The Son of God. It is as if Jesus deliberately set Himself against the background of the world’s religions in all their history and splendour, and demanded to be compared with them, and to have the verdict given in his favour.”

Here is our king, a new type of King. His deity shines out to us in dazzling light. Follow this series preached by pastor Dave and join us at Coastal Church at any of our campuses, and certainly we invite you to the Orpheum Theatre on April 21st, Easter Sunday to hear the sermon “The King and The Cross.”