Mark 8:31-38: How Things Ought to Be


Mark 8:31-38

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.”

When Jesus started teaching the people about the plan to rescue the world, they were expecting to hear some political grand plan to oust the Roman government. Yet when Jesus opened His mouth, they heard of another way. The way things ought to be according to Jesus. Jesus was not coming to topple any human authority, in fact, He was going to suffer and die at the hands of the authority.

Imagine living in that time where your hopes were high and your dream to see a new world would happen and then we hear of how Jesus intended to be king. What a great disappointment.

As Christians, there would be times we would think like how the world thinks because in some sense it is logical. But when Jesus rules in our lives, some things might not make sense. The things that ought to be when we are under the kingship of Jesus would be different than how the world would operate.

Jesus told them that He was going to be a suffering King. I didn’t really know if they were excited about the future with this King Jesus. But Jesus did not just end there, He invites his followers to take up their cross and follow Jesus.

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.”

Jesus had other plans. This was not about toppling a government for one generation. It was overcoming the powers that ruled that government. It was a spiritual battle that would be made manifest in the physical not just during the Romans time in the New Testament but is applicable even now. This is why we should never give up in whatever situation we are facing individually and as a nation. The gospel has the power to transform lives and nations. Jesus has done it and the church should continue to enforce it.

Lord, I pray that we would live the way you want us to live – under your Lordship. May we not follow the ways and the patterns of the world but fight for how things ought to be when you are in control.

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