My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Thursday, March 1, 2012
I want to know what you say!
Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of
Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to
them, “Who do people say that I am?”
(Mark 8:27 NASB)
And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
(Mark 8:29 NASB)
The disciples had now been traveling with Jesus for quite a period
of time. They had seen the miracles and had listened to his teaching
day in and day out. They had opportunity to know Jesus more intimately
than anyone else in the whole world. Therefore Jesus would use them as a
sounding board. He asked them, "Who do others day that I am?" In
other words, as we work together day by day ministering to this world of
ours, do you think people are getting it? Do they truly understand who
I am? That was okay to ask, but then he got personal. But you -- the
ones who hang out with me day in and day out -- do you know who I am?
And maybe you know who I am in your hearts -- but can you even confess
it? Who do you SAY that I am? It would take a lot of nerve to share
that with the world! But Peter blurts it out and is willing to confess
what he knows in his heart to be true about Jesus.
There are times in our lives when we may catch ourselves trying to
be people pleasers. What do people want me to say? It's a normal human
response of wanting to be accepted. This was no different for the
disciples, for they too, wanted to be accepted. It was exciting
traveling around with Jesus and having crowds of thousands following
them, and watching Jesus do great miracles. He was the Rock Star of his
day as people would travel from miles and miles to come and see him.
That was okay as long as he was popular and the people were happy to
have a good prophet who provided preaching and entertainment! That's
why Jesus asked what other people were saying about him. However, he
wanted to know whether the disciples had seen beyond the excitement of
the days and whether they were truly understanding his message and
knowing who he was, because to declare who he really was, would have
been considered blasphemous.
It's easy being a part of the crowd day in and day out in the life of
Christianity. It doesn't even take much to be a part of the popular
Christian crowd. Last evening I saw advertised a new television show
that will begin soon called GCB. Good Christian ........'s. Now, how
awful is that?! Is this really how the world perceives Christianity?
I'm afraid that it is because there is a popular Christian culture out
there that certainly does not go out on a limb to declare the radical
nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus wanted to know whether the disciples
could look beyond the popular and know the truth! What about us? Can
we look beyond popular Christian culture to the truth of the Messiah?
If we can look beyond the Christian culture, then the question
becomes, "Who do you SAY" that he is? This isn't just about what we
believe in our hearts and are willing to keep there as a secret, but
rather, about what we truly believe in our hearts about him and are
willing to share with the world. This is not popular Christian culture.
Often to share the crucified Christ with our world is NOT popular. To
believe that Jesus came to minister to the poor, the weak, the
marginalized of society means that we are willing to say that we believe
we are called to do the same. That's not popular Christian culture.
To say that we are willing to give away most of what we have for others
-- that's not popular Christian culture! Jesus didn't want to just know
what others said, or what the disciples thought -- he wanted to know
what they were willing to say about him. If he were to ask the same of
us today -- what would we say? It's time to speak up and be
counter-cultural, not just with the secular world, but with the popular
Christian world as well. He wants to know what we would be willing to
Lords, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you today, and everyday! Amen.