I love to wrestle and discuss portions of Scriptures on this blog. This week I want wrestle with Mark 8:31-33. Here is what it says: 31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s."
So the passage is sandwiched in between Peter calling Jesus the Christ and Jesus saying take up your cross and follow me. These are some pretty powerful moments in the ministry of Christ. Jesus in the passage we are looking is beginning to teach and share His true mission. Up until this point the disciples have missed the point of Jesus’s Mission and now Jesus is sharing His mission with them in a plain way as the Bible tells us here.
So what we have is Jesus begins to teach them. I want you to notice in verse 31 the word began. What this word suggests is the fact that this was new information Jesus was giving His disciples. That is to say He has not revealed fully His Mission to this point – He had hinted about it but this time he is going to be direct. We are also told in verse 32 that Jesus spoke these things openly. What is seen in this is that Jesus would use no parables and no messages with hidden meanings or anything else in sharing what He is sharing. He would speak clearly so that these men would not misunderstand what He was trying to tell them and they still did.
Notice that Peter had called Jesus the Christ in verse 29 which is right before this and as you read Jesus did not deny this title, for He was the Messiah. However, when Jesus speaks, He calls Himself the Son of Man. This simply reminds us that Jesus did not come to this world to live as a King although He is the King. Jesus came into this world to die as a slave as we read in Philippians 2:5-8 which says: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Jesus came to serve and to give Himself.
What we are seeing is that Jesus tells the disciples that while they are looking for glory, He actually came to suffer and Jesus did suffer while He was here on Earth. He lived in poverty. He understood loneliness and was a Man who was rejected by most, hated by many and loved by few. He was truly a Man who was “…despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” as we read in Isaiah 53:3.
What comes to my mind when I think about this is gratitude that the King of All Creation would be despised and rejected for me – this is just for starters.
As you read this, what comes to your mind?