Tag Archives: walking

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.

walking with Jesus, part b

31 Jul

In 2015 I visited Palestine and Israel. Two weeks plus I walked East and West Jerusalem and Bethlehem; Gaza and Tel Avi; I walked.

When we landed in Tel Avi airport at 5:30 in the morning and bused it with our pick up to Jerusalem, ie was too early that Saturday morning to check into our hotel.

But it was a real good hotel. We can stay in the lobby, but hey, Priscilla and I were ‘up’.

So we grabbed a cab from the front of the hotel and I did what I always did in a new unfamiliar place: the driver I asked where we wanted to go and I said,

we just landed from London. Where would you go, early, this Saturday morning? Take us there.

Well, he went through a list ( like most people I ask this question- what do you like? A museum? A restaurant? …)

I stopped him: no.

Where would you go this beautiful, sunny morning for a time? Today. Not Tomorrow; not yesterday; not tonight. Right now. Your choice, tell us and we go.

He said Ok. He drove us to the top of the Mount Olives; told us to get out and as the sun rose to walk down the Mount to the Garden of Gethsemane. He would meet us in two plus hours. So we walked, from the beautiful height of Olives where we could see Jerusalem’s wailing wall and the white sepculars graves on its hillside.

We walked where Jesus walked every day before his teaching in the temple and each night when he left.

All I could think of at first was: boy, was Jesus in good shape. But then, on each level, I saw the olive trees and the churches from different countries; the many birds and how my view of the city deepen as I waked.

I thought of this verse from Matthew, 26,

‘30 ‘When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.’

Jesus sang Psalm 118, the last of the traditional Passover dinner hymns before he walked. He sang,

1 Give thanks to the Lord,for he is good;(B)
his love endures forever.

2 Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
3 Let the house of Aaron say:
“His love endures forever.”
4 Let those who fear the Lord say:
“His love endures forever.”

The Mount of Olives was Jesus spacious place; his disciples were his spacious place; the Garden of Gethsemane was his spacious place. The cross is his, and our spacious place. Here all transgressions are as far apart as the east from the west. ( Psalm 103: 10 )

Walking with Jesus, in a spacious place.