Gospel – February 21, 2020 – Mark 8:34-9:1
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
He also said to them,
“Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”
First thing I noticed today was that he gathered, not just his disciples, but the crowd – us – and he lays it out as plain as he can.
Remember as the Jews were leaving the desert and about to enter the Promised Land? Two paths – one was to a new life and one was to death. I can imagine that one of the paths was easy and probably appeared to lead immediately to things that we crave in this world.- rich lands, water, good farming, grazing lands etc. – things that obscured the warning signs of trouble ahead.
The other path likely led through a little rougher land – land that was occupied and they would need to obtain – with conflict.
In our language of today – it is easy to choose the way of the world – big homes, nice cars, more money, abortion, etc. – anything that doesn’t clutter our lives or make it hard.
Following Christ means we forego some of those things and our lives aren’t quite as easy but what awaits us for living a good life is so much greater.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…