1. Structure and outline

The way in which Mark 8:27–30 bear on Mark 8:31—9:1

Mark 8:31–9:1 (ESV)

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

After taking his disciples away to an area north of Galilee, Jesus asks them who they think he is. Peter, speaking on behalf of the disciples, answers, You are the Christ (Mark 8:29). This moment is a high point in the Gospel, since it is the first time that someone has correctly identified who Jesus is. As readers of Mark’s Gospel, we were told that Jesus is the Christ in the very first verse (Mark 1:1) and we’ve been waiting since then to see who will finally figure out the truth. Jesus tells his disciples not to share this information because at the moment, they do not yet understand what Jesus must do as the Christ. The popular concept of the Christ among the Jews of that time, as now made clear in Peter's rebuke of Jesus, involved political and revolutionary hopes of freedom from Roman rule and the establishment of a Jewish kingdom similar to that of King David.1