Saturday, 3 March 2012

He said what?

Mark 8:27-38
27Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” 30And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
34He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

You’ve recently started out on a recruitment campaign .
You’ve been touring towns and villages, wilderness and desert, all those out of the way places.
People are flocking to hear you preach and to see you perform miracles.
You’re on a roll.
Your fame is spreading, the crowd is eating out of your hand.
Your closest friends, the disciples who left their lives behind to jump on your band wagon are hanging on your every word.
They are dancing attendance on you.
They are ready to die for you.
So what do you do?
You tell them that they are all doomed.
That your journey leads along the road to persecution, to torture and to death.
And that, if they want to follow, they too must take up their cross.
And, when one of them tries to stop you talking in those defeatist tones – you call him Satan.
Not a strategy you’ll see touted in any coaching or self help books.
Not a method modeled in any of the reality entrepreneur shows.
But the strategy that Jesus used on his way to that cross.
Let’s not try and explain it away.
Let’s not attempt to soften the tone or water it down.
Jesus said: Take up your cross.
Shattering our fuzzy warm tactile version of the gospel.
Presenting us with shards of broken glass to try and piece together in an attempt to find some insight and some clarity in our confusion.
Jesus said: Take up your cross.
That’s a painful gospel to live and to preach.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Amen. Love the glass imagery - make me think on Melissa who's taking a cut glass class - takes lots of solder to hold it all together. Thanks for the food for thought. Hugs, Beth

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