Thursday, March 3, 2011

Who And How

By Julie Ackerman Link

Read: Mark 8:27-33
You are the Christ. —Mark 8:29
Bible in a year:
Numbers 28-30; Mark 8:22-38

Whenever I read the Gospels, I identify with the disciples. Like me, they seemed slow to catch on. Jesus kept saying things like “Don’t you understand it yet?” and “Are you still so dull?” (see Mark 7:18). Finally, however, Peter “got it,” at least one part of it. When Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ” (8:29).

Peter was right about the “who”—Jesus—but he was still wrong about the “how.” When Jesus predicted His death, Peter rebuked Him for it. Jesus, in turn, rebuked Peter: “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (v.33).

Peter was still thinking in human ways of establishing kingdoms. One ruler would overthrow another and set up a new government. He was expecting Jesus to do the same. But Christ’s kingdom was going to come in a new way—through service and the sacrifice of His life.

The method God uses today hasn’t changed. Whereas Satan’s voice tempts us to gain power, the voice of Jesus tells us that the meek will inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). To gain citizens for God’s kingdom, we must follow the example of Jesus, who set aside selfish ambitions, served others, and called people to repent of their sin.

We say we love humanity,
But can we really claim
A readiness to sacrifice
For them in Jesus’ name? —Sper

A Christian is an ambassador who speaks for the King of kings.

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