Mark 8:27-30

In first century Palestine, Caesarea Philippi was an outpost town about as far north as you could get and still be in Israel. It was named after and featured a pagan temple dedicated to Caesar. In other words, it was nationalistic civil religion embodied. And yet, it’s here, in a place dedicated to the cult of Caesar, that Jesus’ disciples (specifically Peter) choose to make the declaration that he, not Caesar, is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Only, as we’ll see both this week and next, he’s not the kind of Christ, Messiah, and Savior many at the time were expecting.

If you’re looking to go deeper into this sermon series or the season of Lent, check out Alexander Schmemann’s book Great Lent.