Gospel of Mark | Cross Taking | Mark 8.33-38 | movementministriesblog.com

by | Mar 1, 2024

“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.” 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[b] 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.” Mark 8.33-38

Jesus’ way is not easy. In truth, it’s near impossible. The call to discipleship is all encompassing. Jesus said if any wants to be my disciple they must deny themselves. Self denial is hard but what Jesus is asking is complete rejection of selfs desires and actions.

You know it’s serious when Jesus in the previous verse refers to his closest disciple and friend as “Satan.'” It’s not like he gently reprimands him, he rebukes him and calls him out in public as the worst enemy of God. And then he says, “You do not have the concerns of God but merely human concerns.”

To take up the cross daily and follow Christ means we must have the concerns of God always. Jesus says deny yourself, take up cross, follow me. Three steps that sounds simple enough but are a something both joyful and painful to bear.

And what, you ask, is the reward of following this Christ? Salvation of our souls for eternity! If we are able to reject sin and evil while on this earth — the eternal reward will be great. So much so that Jesus will acknowledge us before the Father in heaven with all the angels. Our eternal reward will be to be known by the Father and to spend eternity with Christ.

Seems like a small price to pay for obedience!

“O Lord, the call to discipleship is an invitation for all people to receive life, freedom from sin, and joy. Your call is not without sacrifice but it is well worth the reward. Thank you Lord for this invitation of love. Thank you for your mercy that paved a way for us to know you. Come, Holy Spirit, fill us with your power and might. Even in our difficulties you offer joy. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen