The Cost of Following Jesus
Scripture Reading — Mark 8:31-9:1
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Mark 8:34 —
Peter didn’t like it when Jesus talked about his approaching death and resurrection.
A short time earlier, Peter had made the bold profession, “You are the Christ.” But now Peter couldn’t accept Jesus’ words about suffering, rejection, and death. Peter’s vision for Jesus and his fellow disciples was far different from that. So Peter took Jesus aside and tried to set him straight.
Jesus rebuked Peter in the strongest possible language: “Get behind me, Satan! … You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Peter had replaced God’s will with his own.
Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth was to “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
In thankfulness to him we are called to follow his lead, whatever the cost may be.
We must honestly admit that we are a lot like Peter. We easily yield to the temptation to make the Christian faith something different than Jesus intends it to be. We want the benefits of Christ’s cross, but we resist the price of following him.
Again and again we need to be reminded that in God’s kingdom, life follows death and victory follows surrender.
And we will only save what we are willing to lose.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the cross, where our sins were paid for. May the freedom we have from our guilt lead us to live surrendered lives for you. In your name, Amen.