Today’s Scripture: Mark 8:31-38
31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
Jesus tells us, if any would come after him, they must do three things:
- Deny oneself– Give up the right to run your life; allow the Lord to take over.
- Take up your cross– Do His will even when the work is difficult.
- And follow me– Let following Him become your way of life.
Jesus says that the Son of Man must suffer many things, be rejected, die, and then rise on the third day. This is the less traveled road of the cross, of suffering, of dying.
Jesus says that we have to travel that less traveled road of sacrifice and cross bearing. We must leave the worn path of success, of power, of prestige, of glory, and follow the path of sacrifice.
The gospel of the twentieth century would be pleasing to Peter. We have become convinced that God has only blessings in store for us, success without suffering, promise without pain.
Living for and in Christ does not necessarily mean that everything in our lives will be glorious. What happens if we don’t succeed? It can lead to guilt, to thinking that our faith is not as good as the faith of others. But are we to measure faith by our successes?
Faith is not measured by us or for us, but is a gift from God. Faith is living by the cross, in the cross, and through the cross, and the cross leads to the resurrection which gives our lives meaning and purpose.
Which road will you choose? The road that Peter wanted or the less traveled road that Jesus taught?
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. (Robert Frost)