Saturday 7 December 2013

Mark 8:22-38 - Seeing, understanding and dying

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What can we learn from this part of Mark 8?

Jesus is happy to heal the blind man, but he leads him away from the village first and afterwards warns him to not even go into the village (Mark 8:22-26).

In the next section, when his disciples declare that he is the Messiah, he warns them not to tell anyone about him (Mark 8:27-30).

In Mark 8:31-33, we see that Jesus is well aware of what will happen to him in the end. He speaks plainly about it. And his criticism of Peter is based on the fact that he's not thinking in terms of pleasing the Father but wants to please people.

And finally, in Mark 8:34-38, he explains to both the crowd and the disciples that all his followers will need to lay down their own lives just as he is preparing to lay down his. If we are ashamed of the Messiah, he will also be ashamed of us [Tweet it!].

What was in Jesus' mind as he made these remarks? Knowing that he had a job to complete, he wanted to avoid becoming too conspicuous too soon. If he had been arrested before the right time, perhaps the disciples would have failed to understand what was happening and why. There would be a right time to be arrested, but that time had not yet arrived.

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