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February 18 | Mark 8:27-9:1


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


by Elaine Pierce


Have you ever asked yourself what people really think of you? I certainly have, and my guess is that most of us wonder about that. Jesus asked his disciples that very question in Mark 8:27: "Who do people say I am?" and the disciples tell him. He then asks them the same question, and Peter, impulsive Peter, quick to speak Peter, blurts out "You are the Messiah." (v. 29)


After he warns his closest followers not to tell anyone who he really is, he spends some time telling them what is going to happen to him soon. He will suffer and die, then he will rise again. Again, Peter is quick to reject this less-than-pleasant-sounding narrative. Jesus' response to Peter seems startling and, if I'm honest, over the top:


"Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." (v. 33)


Lord Jesus, we turn our eyes to, you and ask that you cleanse us from all unworthy attempts to worship you. You alone are worthy and we can stand before the throne of God because of the sprinkled blood of Jesus.

 

“To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 1:25)


I imagine Peter was crushed by Jesus' response. I know I would be. Certainly the Messiah is not going to die! He is going to vanquish the hated Roman conquerors, and be restored to his rightful place on the throne! It's easy for us to see that Peter was way off base, but we have the benefit of knowing 'the rest of the story.' Jesus reminds me - and he reminds us - that we don't have a kingdom perspective - read verse 33 again as a reminder:


The rest of today's passage is full of important words from Jesus, and troubling ones, too (I could write many blog posts on Mark 9:1 and still not fully understand it. For today, let's stop and ponder how we can grow in our faith so that our outlook, day by day, is more like Jesus. Start each day thanking God for life and take time to remember that the only way to 'win' is to follow him wherever he leads. He longs to create in you and me a clean heart, and he longs to give us a gentle spirit. Ask the Lord to equip you for every good work, and thank him each day for the opportunities he gives you to grow, to share, to be more like him.


PRAYER

Lord, I'm so impatient. I want you to bless me, but often I don't want to follow you and listen to your call. Help me today and each day this week to spend time with you, to follow you, and to grow more deeply in faithful living. Amen.






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