Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jan 10 - Mark 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is Mark 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • We recently did an entire message on Peter declaring that Jesus is the Messiah at Caesarea Philippi. If you want to hear it, listen to "What Child Is This" here.
  • As Jesus tells the disciples that he will be tortured and killed (in verse 31), Peter responds by disagreeing (in verse 32). Part of the reason Peter disagrees is because at that time the Israelites were expecting the Messiah to be a political leader who would save them from Roman oppression and set up Israel's own nation. Thus it wouldn't make sense for Jesus to be killed. Jesus strongly tells Peter that he's wrong.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • It wasn't long ago (in Mark 6) that Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people, but the disciples seem to have forgotten and now can't imagine how he could feed 4,000 people. They seem oddly stubborn in their lack of faith in Jesus' ability, but we can often be the same way.
  • Jesus says that if anyone would follow him they must deny themselves and take up their cross. At the time, you only carried a cross to your own execution. To choose Jesus means to choose death -- death to our selfish desires and to living for ourselves. We choose instead to love and live for God and other people.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • We see a lot of stubborn, thick-headed lack of faith in the disciples. Where might there be some of that in you? What could you do today to help you remember what God has done in the past and to have faith in what he'll do in the future?
  • Jesus says that, in order to follow him, we must carry a cross. What are some of the ways you're currently living for yourself rather than for God and others? What could you do this week to "lose your life" and live to serve God and others?