(11/21) New Testament Challenge: Day 7
November 21, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Reading: Mark 5-8
In reading Mark 5-8, we again read stories about Christ’s public ministry in Galilee where great crowds gathered around him. A telling detail comes at the end of Chapter 8. Peter confesses that Christ is the awaited Messiah. In response, Christ teaches that He must go to Jerusalem to be rejected by the authorities there, killed, then rise three days later. Peter pulls Christ aside and rebukes Him. Christ’s response (and where the telling detail comes) is to call the disciples and the crowd to hear the following (8:34-35):
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
This marks a significant change in Christ’s public ministry. Up to this point, He has taught, healed, and cast out demons with no requirements (other than faith) of those who have come to him. Now that it has been confessed that He is the anticipated Messiah, He now points to the danger of following Him. He is essentially telling the crowd “no more free rides”!