March 20 Mark 8: 27 – 38 The cost of discipleship

This section begins with a repeat of the labels for Jesus which we have seen before, but in this case Peter seems to have recognised who Jesus is and we have an open acclamation of him as Messiah.

However, when we move on, Jesus teaches the disciples that he must be rejected, suffer and die and then be raised up again after three days. On hearing this, Peter starts to give Jesus a telling off and finds himself on the receiving end of some harsh words from Jesus, who calls him Satan! Clearly Peter and the disciples haven’t fully realised who Jesus is or understood God’s plan.

Jesus then calls the disciples and crowd together and explains to them what the cost of discipleship will be. Jesus makes it clear that if we want the new life he offers, then our old life must die – it’s either/or, not both/and!

Following Jesus might cost us friends, family or reputation, but as the 20th Century missionary and martyr Jim Elliot said “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Do you agree?

Today’s Thought for Lent is from Derek

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