questioning Jesus, walking with Him, Mark 8c

17 Aug

Sitting, thinking, and reflecting on Mark 8, I realise that I need three entries on how questions are used by Jesus for this passage. This is ‘c’, the third.

Peter has just answered Jesus question for the disciples, who do you say I am? Peter emphatically states, you are the Christ. And then Jesus begins a deep teaching on how the Messiah is to live and suffer. Peter rejects this word and Jesus clearly, strongly, get behind me, Satan… you do have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.

Peter starts by proclaiming Jesus as Christ. He is standing with Jesus, walking with him. But after answering ‘who’ Jesus is, after taking this step with Jesus, Peter stops listening. Peter does not further his walk, his dialogue, his listening to and with Jesus.

And Jesus tells Peter, and anyone else who does not listen deeply, to get behind him. They cannot walk with him. Why?

Because they form, they listen to only their own questions.

In The Message version of the moments that immediately follows Peter’s negative voicing, Jesus brings all together; he speaks to the crowd and his disciples,

34-37 ‘Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?’

In Peterson’s wordings Jesus says, ‘Follow me and I’ll show you how.’

The deeper questioning, the question that leads to the greatest generosity, is the ‘how’ step.

How do I follow Jesus’ steps?

How do I serve my neighbours?

How do I love my God? My neighbour? Myself? My Jesus?

When I seek the ‘how to’, I am listening, serving, growing. That is the way to ‘true-self’; to following in Jesus’ steps.

Anything else I do, who or what I follow, is a loss. And a not just any loss, but the lost of my soul. Permanent. A forever, eternal loss.

This teaching is about how to live and how to follow Jesus. Living Jesus’ way is to walk and embrace, cling to him. No matter how we may have to suffer, we walk with Jesus.

His walk is how we are, I am, to live. In his steps.

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