Mark 8:27-30 is a pivotal passage. Up until this point, Mark’s gospel is filled with apparent failure. Jesus has been long been trying to impress upon his disciples that he is the Messiah and they haven’t listened to him. Miracle after miracle he performed in the plain view of hard hearts and even harder heads to no avail. Now on the heels of opening a blind man’s eyes, which took more than a single touch, Jesus finally sees fruit for all his labor. Peter believes. “You are the Christ.” “You are Messiah.” “You are the One we’ve been waiting for.” Peter’s serious declaration demonstrates that a mustard seed of faith has been born in his heart. Even though Peter had performed miracles in Christ’s name, saw Jesus walk on water, saw him change a few loaves into banquets and watched him calm a storm, he hadn’t believed. Now, at long last, and all according to God’s timing, Peter believed.
Who do you say that I am?
Jesus asks an interesting question. Who do you say that I am? This question is the punctuation on an earlier question that set the whole discussion in motion. Who do the people say that I am? The disciples were quick with their answers. They knew what the world thought about Jesus and they knew what their expectations of Jesus were. But here Jesus forces the disciples to reconcile their own expectations of Jesus against the world’s: Who do you say that I am?
Peter answers correctly, but he’s charged to keep the revelation a secret. Christ’s time was still to come and his critical work on the cross could not be disrupted. But in Mark 8:27-30, we see how Peter is blessed. Faith dawned on the disciple’s heart, and though his faith would be severely tested and fail for a season, we see it is here that Peter makes another important stride as Christ continues to draw his heart and open his eyes. “You are the Christ,” he says and by doing so he revealed the blessing of spiritual sight the Father had given his heart.