Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Whom Say Ye That I Am?

While Jesus and his disciples were headed to Caesarea and Philippi, Jesus asked them, Whom do men say that I am? (v27, Mark 8)  They answered, some say John the baptist, some say Elijah, some say another prophet. Jesus asked them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answered, Thou art the Christ. 
 The Christ. The Son of God. The One who gave his life to save us all from our sin, IF we accept the gift on his terms. He is not a mythical man, not "just a man" who gave his life for no good reason, and his name should never be used as a swear word. But each person has to hear the Word and believe all this for him or herself. No one else can drag another person into salvation. That, I believe, is one of the reasons why, in verse 30, Jesus told the disciples to tell no one. 
 Was he telling them to keep their faith to themselves and not teach others? Certainly not! He had commanded his disciples to teach, just as we today are commanded to go out and teach. But telling others that Jesus is the Christ could possibly have put Jesus' life in danger and it was not yet time for him to die on the cross. And also, as I am thinking, that bit of information needs to come from each person. In the steps to salvation we are to confess that Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 10:10).
 Jesus then started letting them know that he would die, and be raised after three days. Peter did not want to hear this. He began to rebuke Jesus for saying such things.
  Jesus turned away from him, and toward the other disciples, saying Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of man  (v33)
  Verses 34 through the end of the chapter, Jesus tells them that following him will not be easy. 
  Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. (34)
 35. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36.For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37. Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38.Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation: of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
 What do our words, our actions, our lives say about us? Are we proclaiming the Word, or are we ashamed to let others know where we stand?


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