Monday, February 3, 2014

Let's Not Be Mistaken (Mark 8:27-38)

In Caesarea Philippi, Jesus reveals himself to His disciples. They tell Him that His ministry had had such an impact that people had begun to speculate, that Jesus marked the return of Elijah or another one of the prophets. His disciples recognize though that He is the promised—the prophesied one, the Messiah. IN Him, God’s promises and plans will be made full.

However, the disciples are still mistaken. They believed that Jesus was a messiah, just not the Messiah God had promised. They thought He was some messiah of human imagination and Jewish longing. They didn’t see the Lamb of God a sacrifice for mankind, but rather a superhero, a warrior, come to establish and govern a human kingdom. Jesus corrects their misunderstanding by announcing His true purpose and plan: to die for mankind and rise again victorious over sin and death. Peter and the disciples do not understand, protest, and are rebuked.

Jesus goes further to clarify the true nature of discipleship. To follow the Messiah is to truly die to oneself. If we wish to be followers of Jesus, we are to follow Him into His death, His sacrifice. We are no longer delude ourselves into thinking we are our own masters, pursuing the interests the world pushes on us. Instead, we are God’s people following His plans, wishes, and commands.

In this fallen and sinful time, we are now strangers. We no longer value what the world values. We are all about Jesus the Messiah; making Him and His story known. We are different. We no longer truly fit in this time and place, but we can embrace that difference without shame.

Or, at least we should. Some of us are still busy following our own idea of who Jesus is.

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