Read Mark 8:27-38
There are so many gems in today’s reading. If this passage is familiar to you, I would suggest you read it again, at least once, and really listen for God. We can often gloss over the familiar, but God’s word is always made new. If you are reading this for the first time, read it again and really soak up all of the nuggets here.
Who is Jesus to you? Peter was on point, but Jesus asked them to be careful right now to spread that around. Have you ever wondered why? Later, he will ask them to spread the gospel. For now, maybe for their own safety, Jesus has them stay low-key. For us, we need to be shining lights for Jesus because the time for us is now.
Jesus tries to prepare his disciples for his death, but because of their track record of not “getting it”, I’m certain his efforts were in vain. The scene shifts quickly as Peter wants to argue. Jesus promptly puts him in his place, calling out the evil one as being the influence here. How true it is for us to let doubt or fear (tricks of the evil one) cloud our trust in Jesus, as well as our relationship with him. Be aware of that and call out the devil as Jesus did when you are feeling worry or or doubt creep in.
Jesus isn’t looking for lukewarm followers here. He is looking for us to leave our old ways behind and be all-in. In his words, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.”
How many of us try to do it our own way? How is that going for us? What can life be without the promise of eternity? What he’s asking is not easy. But think of the reward. Jesus simply asks, “are you ashamed of me?” The trend nowadays is it’s not popular to be Christian. Many are ashamed. Yet, some are still martyred and suffer for their faith.
For me, I would rather be ridiculed and laughed at rather than hide my faith. If I lose customers or business partners because I live my faith out loud, then they are the ones missing out. I want to be ready when Jesus “returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
How about you? Who is Jesus to you? Are you a lukewarm follower hanging on to your life, or have you taken up your cross to be an all-in follower?
Let’s pray. Lord, what a glorious God you are. Your kingdom is everlasting and true. I dedicate this day to you alone. I declare every day you give me to be a gift. May I open it joyfully and spread your truth without abandon. Cleanse again my sinful heart as I want to shine for you. Thank you for the blessings you bestow on my business, my family and my life. May you sense my grateful heart as it overflows. May all thoughts of sadness, worry and negativity flee from me. Thank you that you are working in me to bring others to know you. Thank you for blessing that ministry.