Reflection for the Week
25th February 2018
Jesus rebuked Peter, saying “get behind me satan, for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things” (Mark 8: 33)
It’s a challenge hearing those we love talk about the suffering they’re going through, or will go through. And we want to stop the conversation... it’s too difficult.
Imagine hearing Jesus talk about his death... “stop talking like that Jesus... surely that can’t be what the Lord requires of you... make it up with the elders, chief priests and scribes, tread a little more lightly around them... cut them a bit of slack. Then all the trouble will calm down and it won’t turn out to be as bad a picture as you’re painting it”.
The story of Jesus life and death is a challenge for us, it’s difficult to hear in places and we’d rather gloss over the bits that test us and our resolve to be the disciples Jesus calls us to be. We would rather take the path of least resistance, and compromise our Christian principles than take the more difficult path that God asks us to walk and that he walks with us.
Jesus is warning us against setting our minds on human things, not on divine things, against the small picture of our own needs and desires in favour of the things that will build people up, build a kingdom of human flourishing, even if that is inconvenient and even problematic for ourselves.
Because “if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it” (Mark 8: 34b–35)
Jesus followed God’s inconvenient way to the cross and gained life for himself and for us all... Will you follow suit for the sake of life... take up the cross of inconvenience for the sake of others, and the good news about God and follow Jesus?
Revd. Janine Atkinson