Daily Bible Reading – 2.15.2021

Rev. Ben Lovell   -  
Daily Bible Reading – 2.15.2021:
Mark 8:34-9:1 (NIV) – 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. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 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.”
And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
Pastor Doug’s Comments:
For the first time in Mark, Jesus tells the crowds and his own followers the cost of being his disciple. Disciples will choose to lay down their own individual, political, or religious priorities for the one agenda of the kingdom: to take up the cross.
Crucifixion was a form of execution used for rebels and runaway slaves. So, to take up the cross had the image of one already condemned. As an act of total loving obedience to the plan of God, Jesus would take on the condemnation of the world.
For us to show such total loving obedience means we are all in for the divine mission of Jesus. Those who try to save themselves by following their own agendas will end up losing themselves. Only the agenda of heaven, as found in Jesus, can ultimately save. If we could somehow inherit the wealth of the world, it would not gain us any advantage for eternity. Instead, it would cost us our very souls for our priorities would all be wrong.
We hear the startling words that if we are ashamed of Jesus today, he will be ashamed of us when he comes again. When Jesus speaks about this adulterous generation, he uses a common Scriptural metaphor for rampant idolatry. Such idolatry reveals unfaithfulness by chasing after lesser priorities than the one priority found in Jesus.
The last statement gives us a glimpse into the kingdom of God coming in power at Jesus’ transfiguration. The secret of the kingdom will be fully unveiled before those who are closest to Jesus.
Questions To Consider/Discuss:
This description of discipleship is the defining mark of faithful followers. Are we among them?