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A Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Ten)




Day Ten



Scripture: Mark 8:31-38

31 Then 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. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But 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.’ 34 He 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. 35 For 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. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those 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.’



Observation:



Peter rebuked Jesus. I wonder how he did it.


“Rabbi, you can’t say that. You can’t openly speak about being captured, tortured, and killed. Trust me, it won’t go over well. Can’t you see we're thriving? Everyone wants to follow you. Your ministry is flourishing. Why risk everything you've built by saying something so terrifying? Can’t you be more positive in your message? Even if you feel like you're facing death, keep it to yourself. It doesn’t benefit you, us, or the listeners. Please, never say that again, okay?”


Of course, this is just my imagination. What's truly intriguing is that Peter confessed, “You are the Messiah,” just before he rebuked Jesus (Mark 8:27-30). How could he rebuke his master, rabbi, and the Messiah? What led him to think he could do that?


Perhaps he believed he was acting in Jesus' best interest. Maybe he thought Jesus had lost his senses and needed help snapping out of it. It's possible Peter was in denial, unable to accept that he would one day lose Jesus. His response might have been driven by fear.


Regardless, Peter needed to heed Jesus' message more closely: Following Jesus isn’t about achieving worldly success. Jesus doesn't offer empty promises or sugar-coated lies. He is unequivocal about the demands of discipleship: “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.”


May I have the courage to follow Him, instead of rebuking him in fear and denial.



Application:

  1. What are the selfish desires you need to deny today? What’s your “cross” today?

  2. What does that mean to follow Jesus today?



Prayer / Reflection:


Song of Reflection: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus









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