The Gospel According To Jesus - Week Five:
Today, we will explore a passage where Jesus tells his followers that to save their lives, they need to be willing to lose them.
It is only after a person has been given everything that one has the chance to realize that everything might never be enough to really matter. - John Kaag
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Let's recap a bit to learn when and where this occurs...
Jesus lets his disciples in on a little secret that had to be dismaying.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Notice how Peter and presumably the other disciples totally glossed over the whole "on the third day be raised to life" part?
Peter pulls Jesus aside to set him straight. Bad move. He gets it completely wrong.
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
"Get behind me, Satan!" What did Jesus mean by this? Is he thinking about his 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism?
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
"...deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me..." A symbol of unimaginable humility. This doesn't look like success at all.
26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Gaining the world---here's where the Temptation from the Satan comes in.
27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
Jesus speaks to his return---this was the hope of the day, immediacy.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
The temptation of power, control, triumph and riches is so hard to resist.
The Church has failed in this---and continues to do so.
Tolstoy - Brothers Karamazov. The story of the Grand Inquisitor demanding Jesus show himself to be God, and Jesus kisses him... and is thrown out.
Taking Up Our Cross/Losing Our Life
Genuine Love for Others
Goodness and Perseverance in the face of evil.
Patience in suffering, Exuberance in blessing.
Letting go of bitterness/Rejecting retribution.
THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS MEANS GETTING LOST TO BE FOUND