The Right Call
Jesus, my life is Yours. Keep my heart focused on You and not on the things of this world.
Read MARK 8:27—9:1
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus Predicts His Death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
The Way of the Cross
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
9 And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow would you describe Jesus to someone? How would you describe life as a follower of Jesus?
People were confused about who Jesus was. They still are. Jesus could not risk his true identity being known, as the crowds, like Peter, wanted a Messiah who would liberate them politically and restore the kingdom to Israel. Praise God that now we are free to tell people who Jesus truly is.
Caesarea Philippi is the physical turning point where Jesus heads south towards Jerusalem and death. As the Messiah, rescuing an “adulterous and sinful generation” (38), he knows he will suffer, be misunderstood, rejected and killed—and then raised to new life. Being a follower of the Messiah means sharing in Jesus’ suffering (34). Christianity is not a crutch or a way to better health and wealth. It is a tough call. But we do not go on this path alone. We go with Jesus and with other believers.
Our sinful world needs us to shine like stars in the darkness (Phil. 2:15). We may prefer to keep quiet but we are not loving God or other people if we do not share about Jesus and the new life he offers.
Think of someone you would like to witness to about Jesus. How could you start a God-conversation with them?
Loving Jesus, give me opportunities to share Your love, the courage to try and the right kind of words. Shine through me.