Second Sunday In Lent

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:31-38

The shadow of the cross was there always.

Jesus knew what lay ahead of him but when he tried to prepare his disciples they didn’t want to hear it. This was a hard teaching. One that did not fit the narrative of a conquering Messiah. And so they resisted. Peter even went so far as to “rebuke” Jesus for saying such things. The definition of the word rebuke is “to criticize sharply; to reprimand. How could Peter dared to address Jesus in that way? Just prior to this confrontation Jesus had asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” Yet when hearing a difficult truth Peter balked. He could not accept that Jesus must suffer a horrible death.

Jesus doesn’t allow Peter to speak in that manner. He reprimands the disciple harshly. Peter is not thinking of God and His purpose but instead is thinking only of himself and his wants and needs.

Jesus reminds him and the others that there is a cost to discipleship. Not only will Jesus carry a cross but each one who decides to follow Jesus must be willing to take up their cross, to surrender self, and serve him whatever the cost.

What does this mean to you?

 If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, 
 shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted,
  for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; 
 but if our motive is love to God, 
 no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men. 

So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does.

Oswald Chambers

My Utmost For His Highest

What does this mean to you?

The world we live in is fractured by sin. People have wandered far from God. There is anger and resentment on all sides. We have an opportunity to share God’s love with them. Not to preach to them but to love them. We may not agree on anything but we can respond with dignity and respect even when disagreeing. Shouting angry words doesn’t change anyone’s perspective.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,

but Christ lives in me.

The life I live in the body,

I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20

Let us live out our faith.

Let others see Jesus in you.

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE

Father God, we have an amazing opportunity in these times of trouble and turmoil.

When so many are filled with anger and resentment,

where hurtful words are spoken, written, or spewed across the internet.

Help us to respond with love and compassion.

Let us answer angry words with truth spoken in love.

Let us reach out to hurting people with compassion.

Let us stand firm on Your Word and offer them Christ.

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